How Do I Develop a Sunday School Budget?

Tuesday 13th July, 2010

A budget reflects the plans and priorities of the church. Many Sunday Schools fail to grow because they lack vision, plans, and budget to do so. Before preparing your budget, use the following questions to guide you through the process:

First, how much time will we need to prepare a budget? Allow enough time to pray, plan, and present your budget.

Second, what are the strategic plans for our Sunday School during the budget year? Ideally, by mid-September, the pastor, director, and leaders will have a retreat to establish goals, priorities, and plans, each of which may need funding.

Third, what will the plans cost? Include the following items as you examine the costs: anticipated increase in people and classes, additional amount of curriculum needed for teachers and pupils, projected curriculum piece price increase if any; costs for regular planning meetings and the planning retreat number of teachers/workers to be trained, including books, supplies, food, and registration for the events; costs for visitation program; purchase of new or replacement furnishings/equipment; cost of classroom preparation/improvement; cost of administrative/class forms, supplies, and resources; miscellaneous costs related to each action and general work.

Fourth, how did you do last year? Where did we overspend? Why? Answering these questions can help you in budget preparation and presentation.

Fifth, what is the best way to present our budget (and plans)? This depends on church policies and practices. Ask those who helped with the budget to accompany you to answer questions from the budget team and church. Share with anticipation and expectancy!


I am the author of this article which can be found on page 144 of How to Sunday School Manual, edited by Wayne Poling. This manual is a great resource designed to offer concise responses to questions as if a Sunday School leader called to asked the question in the title. To view the table of contents and introduction, press HERE.

For more ideas about budgeting, check out these blog posts:

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