I’ve posted in the past about ways to get your youth ministry budget increased, and today thought I would pull from my journal about responding to a budget cut. The only thing more difficult than not having a youth ministry budget in the first place is watching what you have get taken away. Finances seems to be a persistent challenge for churches, and there comes a time in the life of many youth workers when you lose some. Maybe the church has fallen on hard times, giving is down or perhaps new initiatives from the leadership is moving money elsewhere. So what do you do when your youth ministry budget gets cut?

Don’t panic or become poisonous
Often times youth leaders react negatively to a change in their budget and immediately share their feelings with volunteers. Talking this over with a spouse or mentor is one thing, but you need to be on board with the decision to synch up the belt, even when it hurts.

Cut programs/events
Usually we try to make things work with less, and quite honestly I don’t think that is the best approach. If you can operate without a little cushion or you’ve got room to keep things the same, great. But often times a wise move we try everything to avoid is cutting a program. Pray, seek counsel and then make the tough decisions.

Communicate the cuts to the leadership
Youth workers often communicate to me at training events or conferences all that they don’t communicate to their senior pastor or deacon board. I love that they can “get things off their chest” and use me as a sounding board, but sharing your decisions will help them understand their financial decisions and be supportive of the calls you made. This has to be done right, or it sounds like wining or passive aggressive!

Be faithful in the new season
Whatever the condition of your budget – serve with reckless abandon. Knowing the churches aversion to big spending and attention to cutting costs in the church, be sensitive and aware while balancing your vision and preparation for growth. Easier said that done … but totally possible!

Be ready to ask again when the time is right
When is the right time? Good question – and maybe one for another time. But watch for signs of things turning around or ways you can creatively finance or fundraise the youth ministry in the future.

Ever had your youth ministry budget cut? Hang in there!