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Budgeting for a Healthy Church: Aligning Finances with Biblical Priorities for Ministry
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Budgeting for a Healthy Church: Aligning Finances with Biblical Priorities for Ministry

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Many pastors conceive of the church budget as primarily a financial tool, but in fact it is primarily a pastoral tool. A church's philosophy of ministry is locked into its budget, and so the budget will either stifle or accelerate any attempts to move a congregation toward a biblical model of church health. As such, the church budget is a far more potent pastoral tool than ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Zondervan
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Matt Tyler
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This book is surprisingly excellent.
Dr. Z
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really helpful! Wish I had this when I was a new pastor.
Mark Donald
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible work. Highly recommended.

As a pastor I am both challenged and encouraged by this work. It’s both theologically sharp and practically rich.

I’m sure I will return to this time and time again as I seek to both personally and as a church leader seek to show off the goodness and glory of God in how I steward my own personal resources and help lead the church in stewarding what God has provided for his name sake.
H.b. Charles
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I trust 9Marks resources. I do not always agree. But I trust their perspective. Their writings are rooted in scripture. They view everything through the lens of the gospel. And they hold and promote a high view of the church. All of these things are true, as Jamie Dunlop writes about church budgets and finances! I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Aaron Carpenter
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
May I give this a 6th star? Simply the best book I've read on the subject (though I haven't read many). The author answers all my questions, but he teaches me to ask better questions, and then he answers those too! ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My perspective: Going into my first year as the chair of our OPC (orthodox presbyterian) church's budget committee in my role as Treasurer. We have about 200 communicant members and about a $500,000 annual budget.

I'm not a pastor (or even a man!), but I found this book so very insightful and helpful. I was having a fair amount of "in over my head" feelings about chairing the budget committee prior to reading this book. I love managing our household budget, I love all of the bookkeeping and finan
Jon Pentecost
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tremendous. It is all too easy for church leaders and members to think of the budget as simply a practical necessity. Dunlop does what he excels in—examining ways our actions and protocols confirm or deny what we extol in the pulpit. Want your church to grow in a healthy, joyful giving, and members in a robust sense of their responsibility for one another and the lost world around them? Your church budget is not the main or most important way to teach that. But it is probably one of the main pla ...more
Josh Miller
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on church finances! Every pastor, deacon, elder, or church leader would benefit (and also help benefit the church) by reading and heeding the principles contained therein.

Thank you Mr. Dunlop for this book!
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stellar. I am so glad this resource now exists.
David Bruyn
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very helpful, practical, and pastoral. However, it should have been titled, "Budgeting for a Healthy American Church". ...more
Peter Vik
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good approach to church budgeting. Dunlop focuses on the theological and ministry principles behind the church budget rather than dealing only in raw numbers.
Eric Durso
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ransom Maggard
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Helpful. The opening chapters especially are good at orienting thinking on the message that the church budget is a pastoral issue not one for committees, this is a terrific aid to preparing the church budget. The sample questions and evaluations were also terrific.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jamie is a baptist minister in a church with elders and deacons so the adjustments are fairly minor to a presbyterian setting. In our church the congregation doesn’t approve the budget, the elders do. That’s part of the reason congregation elects elders. But we have been seeking how we can communicate more with the congregation so they can be informed. Jamie’s book is chock full of helpful information on just how to do that.

There is a lot of confusion about how church budgets work and what they
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, leadership
I think this book should be on a required reading list for those in church leadership, especially as it talks about budgeting and it relationship to the proper work of the church. While I come from a Lutheran perspective and am not in full theological agreement on some of the methodology that the author recommends (our church polity places the pastor at a little different position in the budget process than what the author recommends, although certainly not in disagreement that the pastors suppo ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I suspect that I am typical of most Christians in that I don’t think about the church budget more than once or twice a year. After all, shouldn’t we just turn all that “money” stuff over to the church leadership? And since most pastoral training doesn’t involve finances (so says my uninformed view of pastoral training–I also assume they’re not taught how to plunge toilets or change a fuse, both of which are also critical skills, especially in smaller churches), shouldn’t the church leadership j ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Comprehensive overview of what it looks like to develop and sustain a church-budget that is Biblical and Christ-exalting.

I found the particular instruction to invest most of the funds in teaching ministries to be particularly helpful, as this will lead to all other areas of growth across the church.

Thanks Jamie!
Anthony Locke
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Appreciate much of Jamie Dunlop's wisdom and vision for the church budget process. A lot of the material was familiar with me because of my time at Hinson, which I was pleasantly surprised to see held up as a model mid-sized church budget process at the end of the book. If I ever become an elder or pastor, I'll be sure to revisit this resource. ...more
Angela Edge
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As with all the 9 marks books it is insightful and helpful without being long-winded. As a pastor of a church plant who has to make lots of hard decisions on budgeting issues, I found this to be incredibly helpful and a useful tool to use as I plan with the elders of our church.
Jeremy Mueller
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Don't be fooled by the's a better read than it sounds! A church's finances reveal its heart. In this book, Jamie Dunlop helps examine this truth and gives practical, biblical wisdom for how we can align our church's budget with the heart that God has for our church. You'll be helped by this book. ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly helpful resource for those who give attention to church budgets and processes. I wish I would have had it a few years ago when I began administrative work at my church, but we will be looking at this frequently as we manage the Lord’s money going forward.
Allen Cox
Delightfully unlike any other church finance book I have previously read. Dunlop focuses heavily on the "why" of church finance that challenges pastors to consider how they are shepherding their congregation to invest their temporal goods the best they can for the glory of God. ...more
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking by at church budget in a new way

Good read. Useful tips & worksheets. Thought provoking. Helped me thin about church budget in New ways. Have me conversation points to have with leadership.
Travis Agnew
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was a great volume to provide enough scriptural big picture ideas to process while offering tangible, practical insights as well. This read is great for a pastor or finance team member to overhaul or tweak a healthy system.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A unique book on an overlooked topic that is foundational for a healthy church. Every pastor should read this.
Deven K
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a quick read. It’s a good mix of theology, ecclesiology, and practical steps to forming and presenting a church budget.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book addresses so many issues that arise in this process, and how to approach them biblically and pastorally. Thank you.
Danny Joseph
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very solid advice. Contains both pastoral reasons for giving, having a budget, and budgeting well as well as more nuts-and-boltsy stuff that's always useful in a book such as this. ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jamie outlines a number of practical items churches should think through when preparing their budget. Very helpful resource for those who are involved in decision making for a churches operations.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wicked helpful.
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