Home Equipping Leaders Stewardship Creating a Narrative Budget: The Story Behind the Numbers

Creating a Narrative Budget: The Story Behind the Numbers

By Ken Sloane

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Discipleship Ministries is excited to announce the re-launch of a popular online course for local church leaders: Creating a Narrative Budget – The Story Behind the Numbers.

The course is written and hosted by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity, who introduces the course and sets up each of the sessions in videos. Ken also serves as instructor for the course, interacting with participants through their responses to questions throughout the course, and answering questions that might arise.

"It’s not the numbers, but the stories that inspire us to give generously."

Along with the course content, students will download a Narrative Budget Workbook in versions that will open in either Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. With the workbook, participants will enter their local church’s budget (and a few other bits of information), and the workbook will organize those line items into broad ministry areas – a key tool in presenting a narrative budget!

Through eight self-paced sessions, participants will learn generosity theory as well as the practical nuts and bolts of constructing a narrative budget, including:

  • What moves people to give?
  • Different roles for line-item & narrative budgets
  • Naming your buckets (ministry areas)
  • Fitting apportionments/mission shares into ministry areas
  • Choosing a format for sharing your narrative budget
  • Tips for designing an attractive and effective narrative budget

Here’s what previous participants had to say about the course:

  • “Thank you for the opportunity to learn to create a Narrative Budget and visually present the positive impact of generous giving. I will be sharing what I’ve learned with our church leaders and exploring ways that we might incorporate the narrative budget into our master plan.”
  • “I must say the course you created made making a narrative budget much easier for me than when I tried (and failed) to do one several years ago. I really appreciate the organization of the course, and the workbook simplified the process that I tried to do manually. This was an excellent course, and I would recommend it highly to others.”
  • “…you created a great course!!! It was easy to follow with detailed instructions. The technical resources were very helpful, and probably prevent some from quitting. Offering personal material reviews placed the course over the top. I look forward to other courses.”

This course is offered at no cost thanks to your church’s generous support of the World Service Fund. For those interested in earning CEU credits, there is a version of the course that offers 0.5 CEUs at completion is available for $25.

Creating a Narrative Budget: The Story Behind the Numbers is Available Now!

Click here to learn more and register today!

NOTE: Registration for this course will end on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. The current course offering will no longer be available after Friday, March 31, 2023.

Ken Sloane is the Director of Stewardship & Generosity for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

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