Tithes and offerings are the financial life-blood of a church. Changes in the flow of a church’s resource stream need to be regularly monitored. This is not something that is only to be done during the budget development process. By waiting until then, it may be too late. By keeping an eye on receipts, churches can move quickly to address shortfalls.
First thing is to make sure you are identifying all kinds of revenues such as:
- Tithes and offerings
- Service revenues (Day care, school, book store, etc.)
- Special events
Once this has been done the goal is to be on the alert for trends. The earlier a church spots a new trend in giving, the easier it is for making mid-course corrections. Just like driving a car, it is much safer to ease over into the next lane than jerking suddenly on the steering wheel!
Here are a few questions a church should ask in order to identify trends:
- Is income increasing, decreasing, or plateaued?
- Are a significant number of members joining or leaving the congregation?
- How is the local economy doing? Are any layoffs on the horizon?
- What is the demographic make-up of your church? What did it look like three years ago?