Family Budgeting and Making a New Hire

Yesterday in the twitterverse Dave Ramsey tweeted something that stirred up a good bit of debate:

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What do you think?  Is this something that churches should be doing before they make a new hire?

Do YOU agree with Dave Ramsey on this?

I will reserve my thoughts for the comments section.


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.

  • http://www.churchthought.com Matt Steen

    I personally like this idea. I have actually done this before.

    During the hiring process at one of my former churches I was offered the job and the salary set was low. Knowing that it was going to be tough to live in an expensive area on the proposed salary I wrote out a simple budget, submitted it to the board, and said “here is my budget, I am afraid that I will be in the negative if I come work here”. A few adjustments were made and I eventually ended up working there.

    Asking for the budget is risky, but I think it makes sense in a few ways: First, it makes sure that the family really knows what they are in for from a cost of living perspective. Two, many pastors would do their job for free… this makes sure that a church is not taking advantage of someone who genuinely needs more than the church can pay but will take the job anyhow. Three, it is a way of caring for the staff member’s family. The majority of marriage fights and stresses are related to finances. If you can cut the probability of income being a stress point in a marriage, I think of all employers the church should be leading the way in this.

    The only way that this can work is if the church approaches this in a loving, trusting way, and not in an attempt to judge lifestyles. This is not about who is living too lavish a lifestyle, it is about setting a family up for success in a new ministry environment.


  • Mike Loomis

    probably a good idea to do. Many corporate employers not check credit reports!

    My mantra is: “Never staff vision… Only staff needs.”

    How many times we’ve seen the “subtle disaster” when this principle is not taken to heart.

    Staffing vision is a trap many visionaries fall into. After all, how will it come to pass without staffing to make it happen?

    The problem is, the path to your vision is sometimes a long and winding one. The people you think you need on your bus right now, are not necessarily the ones you will wish you had down the road. The wrong staffing will actually slow your progress. (And once folks are on the bus, it’s not easy for them to get off)