Note:  The following essay has made the rounds in many newsletters. We aren’t really sure who first came up with it but we think it is worthwhile to share:

Too often, church budgets are seen only as cold, hard numbers. Here are some thoughts to make “budgets” a little more human and meaningful:


            A church budget is. . . .

—bread in a hungry child’s stomach

—Holy Communion for a member of the Armed Services far from home

—up to date materials for parish church schools

—a pastor’s prayer at a hospital bedside

—a place to camp in God’s great out-of-doors

—a pastoral counselor for a concerned college student

—hundreds of overseas missionaries preaching, teaching, serving

—tender, loving care for an unwanted infant

—a nurse’s soothing touch on a fevered brow

—translating the Bible into 1,326 languages and dialects

—theological education for a future pastor

—new hope for thousands of ghetto dwellers

—a warm blanket on a refugee’s bed.

            A church budget is. . . .

—a church member serving in many places

—works that can’t be done by only one

—Christians united in the Lord’s work

—a plan that can lift the lives of millions

—the church’s mission in financial terms.

            A church budget is. . . .

—a measure of Christian involvement

—always less than what is really needed

—an opportunity to give more than seems possible and a level to rise above

—putting your money where your faith is.


Pastor Mark A. Anderson

Assistant to the Bishop

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. That's good, Mark. Much of what I said tonight at council, off the cuff. This is a succinct way to put it.

    Thank you


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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.