Growing Your Sunday School by Increasing Your Budget

Monday 18th August, 2008

Many Sunday Schools don't grow because they don't think ahead. There is no vision to grow. Planning and meetings are merely responses to problems. Enlistment is only necessary when someone quits. New furnishings and equipment are only needed when something breaks. Maintenance is the goal. Status quo is the norm.

This lack of vision in maintenance-oriented Sunday School often extends to budgeting. Frequently the only increase in the Sunday School budget results from a price increase for curriculum for current classes. But in the hands of a revolutionary Sunday School director or pastor, a budget is yet another tool for reaching, teaching, and caring for more people.

I have written about budgets before in these posts: Life-Changing Sunday School Budgets and Is It Sunday School Budget Planning Time Already?. In addition, it is one of the subjects in several other posts like The Many Hats of the Sunday School Director, Sunday School Leader Appreciation Is a Must!, and Top Priorities of a New Sunday School Director. In Life-Changing Sunday School Budgets, I mentioned the following scenario which is common:

A new Sunday School director is presented to the church for a vote in August and begins work in September. The budget is presented in November. The new director without prior experience should work on the budget as soon as he/she starts, but frequently the new director is not even told that this is one of his/her responsibilities.

That often results in a new director without much knowledge or understanding of church or organizational history or future needs having difficulty in preparing a budget. He/she may not be aware of this responsibility and have to put together a request at the last minute. Or he/she may just not know the financial needs of a growing Sunday School.

But let's assume that the director has experience and is working to lead the Sunday School to grow. What are some questions that need to be addressed in preparing a revolutionary Sunday School budget? Consider the following partial list:

  • By how many people and classes will Sunday School likely increase in the year ahead?
  • How much more curriculum for teachers and pupils will be needed?
  • Will there be a price increase for curriculum pieces?
  • In what ways will you recognize and express appreciation to your teachers and workers?
  • Are more furnishings or equipment needed for new classes or to replace worn or broken pieces?
  • Do any classrooms need preparation before they can be used, such as paint, markerboards, etc.?
  • What is your best estimate of the cost of administrative and teaching forms, supplies, and resources?
  • How often and in what ways will Sunday School teachers be trained? What will materials, supplies, and food needed for training events cost?
  • What will be costs for regular Sunday School teacher/worker meetings?
  • What costs will be associated with maintaining a successfully functioning visitation program?
  • What other planning and miscellaneous expenses are necessary for Sunday School growth?
What other questions would you add to the list? Press the Comments button below. Pray together. Plan and envision the growth. Prepare a holistic and growth-expecting budget. Present it to your budget committee/team and/or congregation. Budget for a revolution. Carry out His plans this year! Be revolutionary!

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