Budgeting for 2023 begins now

Learn more about creating an annual budget

Max H Herr

7/5/20223 min read

Budgeting your church or ministry for 2023 should begin now. With six months of financial track record by now, normally you would have a reasonable picture of what to expect in the coming year. But inflation is now running at levels we haven’t seen since the mid-1980s, and trying to predict what 2023 might look like is more troublesome than ever. Energy prices, which are soaring uncontrollably under the Biden administration’s policies, will put substantial pressure on the financial resources of churches and ministries as the cost of utilities and other goods rises across the board – driven in large part by increasing transportation and labor expenses. And just as the cost of operating a church is going up, so too are the everyday expenses for the families and individuals that make up your congregation. The intersection of these inflationary effects will very likely be problematic for all churches, but especially so for smaller ones with attendance of 150 or less.

Church utility bills across the board could be 20 to 30 percent higher in 2023 than 2022, and the minimum hourly wage in California will increase to at least $15 per hour for all employees on January 1. General Liability insurance premiums are expected to rise by five to ten percent or more, and health insurance premiums might increase by double digits. Your outside service providers – plumbers, electricians, landscaping, janitorial services, and others – are all dealing with the high cost, and occasional shortages, of materials, not to mention gasoline and diesel fuel prices that have doubled in the last year – just as they have for the rest of us – so expect their fees to increase as well.

As America appears headed for a period of recession (if it isn't already happening), Kingdom work in your community will be more important than ever in 2023. Families will be seeking answers to their spiritual and temporal needs. The church needs to be there for them, and your budget may very well need to be a leap of faith. Just to maintain the “status quo” . . . that is, simply funding all your ministries at their 2022 levels . . . your 2023 budget, realistically, may have to increase by between 12 and 20 percent compared to this year’s budget. Even more if you were planning to provide any staff with pay increases. But can you expect your financial support to increase as well? Perhaps not.

  • Does your church council or finance committee need help with understanding the budget process?

  • Do you know which one of the three methods of budgeting will work best for your church?

  • Does your existing chart of accounts need revision?

  • Are your financial reports based on a "true fund-accounting" system?

  • Do your members and Board of Directors have confidence in the quality of information your monthly and quarterly financial reports are providing?

CMCC offers training for church treasurers, finance committees, and church leaders in the areas of budgeting, accounting, and money-handling best practices based on actual experiences as a church treasurer over more than ten years – as the church's annual budget doubled from $325,000 to more than $650,000. These live trainings are available at your location or by Zoom . . . you choose the day and time most convenient for the participants.

And our trusted partner, APLOS Software, has one of the best true fund-accounting suites available for churches and other nonprofit organizations. New subscribers receive free use of the APLOS program for six months. (Find the link to APLOS on our "Partners in Ministry" page.)

As you begin to consider your 2023 operating budget, it may also be appropriate to help your church family now by educating them in the area of money management. CMCC offers an acclaimed one-day in-person workshop called “Establishing a Right Relationship with Your Money.” Built on biblical principles and sound money management techniques, participants will discover ways to budget their households, economize on everyday expenses, save money, and continue to be generous.

For more information on any of our training workshops or to schedule a workshop at your location, fill out our contact form, send us an email, or simply give us a call. 909.618.4841 / max@churchandministrycompliance.org