Making your numbers come alive!

Everyday Stewardship |

Storytelling through a narrative budget

The annual congregational budget process can often feel monotonous. We go through the same motions every year for approving a budget.

We may discuss why certain line items have gone up or down, and members often sort of glaze over the line-item budget until someone makes a motion to vote. Then it’s, “Hallelujah, we have a budget.”

It doesn’t have to be that way. A narrative budget captures a congregation’s financial commitments by highlighting key areas of ministry in a written and storytelling format.

Doing this changes the dynamic of how leadership communicates a budget (spending plan) from one focusing on numbers to one highlighting stories of ministry and mission.

When done well, this engages others as it highlights the story of how God’s working within your congregation’s ministry. Hearing these stories encourages, motivates and confirms that your church is making a difference.

A narrative budget also encourages your church to be creative in telling your story. You can include pictures, quotes from people of all ages, including children, written descriptions of your ministry categories, testimonies, videos, etc.

And a narrative budget doesn’t have to be limited to the annual budget meeting. Ministry categories can be highlighted throughout the year to regularly reinforce how God is at work. This will strengthen the connection for your givers and the impact their giving is making.

To learn more about narrative budgets, contact your Everence® stewardship consultant. And do a “congregational narrative budgets” Google search to see examples of what other churches have done. Narrative budgets are a great way to make your numbers come alive!

Steve Bustos head shot


Steve Bustos
Stewardship Consultant

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