The ABC District’s Imbalanced 2018 Budget

The ABC District’s “Annual Fall Mailing” includes this entry that a CEF Forum member pointed out to me:

Mission and Ministry 2018 Work Program – An explanation of the 2018 proposed ABC District Mission and Ministry Work Program identifies sources of income and how the congregational mission remittances may be spent in support of the mission and ministry of the Alberta and BC District, congregations, schools and church workers. The Board of Directors and the District President welcome your comments and feedback (email Bill Fraser, board chairman and / or President Glenn Schaeffer. The Board of Directors will be finalizing the 2018 budget at their November board meeting.

The 2018 ABC District Proposed Mission and Ministry Work Program includes the following items:

Special Mission Offerings/Donations    24,000.00
Congregational Mission Remittances    389,000.00
Special Mission and Ministry Support    4,000.00
Projected TOTAL INCOME                417,000.00

Board of Directors/Working Groups      17,000.00
Subsidy/Mission Leadership            114,500.00
Parish& School Services                12,000.00
President’s Office                     58,000.00
Salaries/Benefits of Staff            192,184.00
General Administrative                119,254.00
Total Expenses                        512,938.00

The first thing that jumps out is that Expenses less Income is a rather big number – $95,938 to be exact.  According to my spreadsheet, that means ABC District is proposing to spend 23% more than it’s income in it’s 2018 budget year.

I’m puzzled how this is supposed to work – where does the ABC District BOD expect to make up a $95K budget shortfall? (2017-12-06: See the update at the end of this article)

Or does it? I’ve seen churches set budgets and then cut back on expenditures when donations fell short over the year – is that what this budget is?

Something else I’d like to see would be a breakdown of these line items. In particular I think the details for these expense lines would be informative –

BOD / Working Group – I’d estimate the gotomeeting cost to be ~10% of the $17K budget at most – where is the rest of the money going?

Subsidy/Mission Leadership – The church subsidy part is pretty clear as are the grants to support congregations going on LCC related missions. What I’d be more interested in is the “Missional Leadership Development” component – specifically the various pastoral conferences and T4M Consultations.

President’s Office – This line includes “grants for church workers to attend conferences, workshops, and seminars” which overlaps with part of the “Missional Leadership Development” budget line.  Why?

General Administrative – at 23% of budget, this line looks a bit high for an organization of District’s size. A detailed breakout would explain why.

When times are tight every expense needs to be scrutinized for return on the dollar, and to me this budget needs further pencil-sharpening until it’s balanced. In addition, in the interest of full transparency expenses that are similar like conferences, workshops, and seminars need to be grouped together instead of being spread across multiple budget lines the way this one does.

One would think that a District that has gone through everything that ABC’s suffered would’ve learned its lesson and done better. Apparently not.

Update 2017-12-06: According to the Monitor’s 33rd report, District has about $1M in cash in the bank that it can use to pay for negative budgets.

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