Saturday, December 1, 2007

it's the most wonderful time of the year....

The tradition of the season around these parts is that we pause to spend the day fine tuning the budget for the coming year at church. If the coming of Advent and all the other responsibilities that come with ministry were not enough to handle we stack on top of the calendar budget building.

Part of the process always involves the angst of determining whether of not the offerings of December will cover the current deficit. Personally I've never seen this happen. For the past eleven years of my ministry the churches I have served have ended with an overage. We may not end with an overage this year....but we will certainly not end with much of a deficit. If we do it won't be much to write home about.

My most favorite moment of the budget building tradition is the moment the Pastors salaries are discussed. We are invited to leave the room. This year we went into our separate offices and waited. The wait was not long. l

This "salary waiting" is similar to what a person on trial waiting for the verdict must feel like. Is it good news when they don't make you wait long, or is it better if they take a long time?

The first round of budget building is complete. We wait for a few weeks to see how much $ come in to end out the 2007 year. We also wait for the outstanding pledges for 2008. If both end up where we project it will be a fairly good year.

I don't know if this is the most wonderful time of the year....but without it we would not have a salary.

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