Narrative Budgets

Help your congregation see how the church budget connects to the mission and ministry of your church.  Develop a “narrative” or “missional” budget presentation in print and/or in video.  Show through pictures and descriptions how the budget is used in ministry.  Discussion of how to build a more descriptive budget.  Example of a Narrative Budget.

  • Simple reminders in newsletters and bulletins can help plant ideas that will grow into actions.  Here are some brief “one-liners” that touch on various gift planning subjects.  Sample one-liners.
  • The best articles are ones that are primarily about people and ministries.  Profile your givers and let them talk about their favorite ministries and how their gifts make a difference and are meaningful.  So called “nuts & bolts” articles may be helpful for some folks, and are a starting point for a new planned giving emphasis.  Here are some sample gift planning articles.
  • It is easier than ever for church publications to include digital photography.  Pictures – especially in print publications – dramatically increase the effectiveness of your communications – both within the congregation and especially with the surrounding community that you are trying to reach.  Try to make sure that every event and activity that occurs in the life of the church includes a photographer.  These photographers will likely be the volunteers and staff, and they may welcome some guidance.  Taking pictures for publications: tips & examples
  • Your church website is your new front door, especially for new folks arriving in your community.  The website is also an increasingly vital connecting point for church members, helping coordinate activities and share information.  Visit other church websites for ideas and resources.  Here are some creative leaders:

UM Church of the Resurrection: www.cor.org

The Gathering UMC (St. Louis): gatheringnow.org

Highland Park UMC (Dallas):  www.hpumc.org

La Croix UMC (Cape Girardeau):  www.lacroixchurch.org

Lee’s Summit UMC:  www.reachingthesummit.com

  • Planned gifts require a long-term commitment to regular communication, as well as a systematic plan for building the trust and personal relationships that are required.  Here is a three-year calendar to promote planned giving in your congregation.