Multi-site tip #6: Think about the money in advance
This blog entry is part of a series of reflections on the multi-site model of church. After the whole series has been posted, you can do a search for multi-site within the blog to pull up the whole series.
What’s one of the biggest issues of contention in both marriages and churches? Money. Don’t let money and budgeting trip up your multi-site church. If you want to use the multi-site model, decide in advance how money will be handled.
Almost all multi-site churches centralize the financial administration structure– it just makes the most sense to do it all in one place. However, everyone needs to know in advance whether the funds will be kept together (one pot) and distributed to different sites according to need or whether each site will keep its funds separate (separate buckets).
Consider the following questions:
- Who makes the budgeting decisions?
- What happens if one site is consistently not meeting their operating expenses?
- When people give, are they giving to their site or to the multi-site network?
- Who makes staffing decisions? Who pays for staff?
- Do you have separate 501c3 organizations or just one?
Whatever answers you come up with, come up with them in advance and communicate them clearly. If you don’t, you can be sure some people are operating under different assumptions than others.