Christianity Today

Where’s the money to fix this?

Six tips that will keep a church from breaking the bank on big-ticket fixes.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | For Church Finance Today

Several years ago, members of the Bridge Church in Fresno, California, committed millions of dollars to a special capital campaign to upgrade facilities and expand parking lots.

But the church didn’t make a plan to set aside the future funds needed to keep its facilities running well.

“There had been pretty serious deferred maintenance for a while prior to that date,” recalled Dave Cowin, who serves as chairman of the church’s elder board.

When Cowin joined the elder board of Bridge Church in 2012, he proposed creating a capital reserve fund as part of the church’s annual budgeting process. The board chose to go with Cowin’s proposal. It was a wise decision that safeguarded the church’s resources and saved thousands of dollars for other ministry priorities just a few years later.

Like Bridge Church, many churches spend valuable time, energy, and money getting a building, but then neglect to plan — and budget — for the expenses needed to keep those buildings operating.

“They are more than happy to raise the money to move into a building,” said Tim Cool, chief solutions officer and project facilitator for North Carolina-based-Cool Solutions Group. But after they move in, churches “fail to plan for the fact that everything in their buildings has a natural life of deterioration.”

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This article appears on the November 2016 cover of Church Finance Today, a publication of Christianity Today.

Click to read PDF version of full story.

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