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Youth Ministry Budget: Tips for Creating a Workable Plan

youth ministry budget

For the typical student pastor, creating a youth ministry budget likely isn’t a yearly highlight. Yet providing meaningful outreach and fun activities requires setting and adhering to financial parameters.

Whether you work at a megachurch or several smaller churches, budgeting know-how is essential. The process might begin with a yearly congregational meeting. By knowing your typical and projected expenses, you can make a case for a budget increase.

Youth ministers need to keep an eye on the budget throughout the year. This ensures that spending and fundraising goals stay on track. Free online templates, worksheets, and sample budgets can help.

One caution: Don’t get hung up on the “average” youth ministry budget. Situations vary widely based on church location, size, and demographics. If money is tight, know that you’re not alone. Youth pastors in that boat share loads of helpful tips online. You don’t need a huge budget to have a strong, active program for teens or preteens.

To explore youth ministry budget building, we’ve assembled helpful resources. Check them out to make the process work for you—and for your church and kids.

7 Resources for Creating a Youth Ministry Budget

1. Consider Your Mission

This blog post makes important points about the entire budget process. Knowing and clarifying your program’s mission, it says, is key to using resources wisely. Next, with her ministry priorities as an example, the author describes setting six line items.

2. Plan, Track, Communicate

Here’s another helpful post about big-picture budget planning. To become a pro, the author says, you must focus on three essentials. Planning, tracking spending, and communicating with church leaders are key.

3. Categories to Consider

After looking at “Budgeting 101,” this article dives into specifics. These include categories common to many teen-related church programs. Then the author offers thoughts about assigning dollar amounts to categories. You’ll also learn about budget follow-up with an eye on savings.

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Stephanie Martin, a freelance writer and editor in Denver, has spent her entire 30-year journalism career in Christian publishing. She loves the Word and words, is a binge reader and grammar nut, and is fanatic (as her family can attest) about Jeopardy! and pro football.