Sep 7, 2022

How to Set Up a Children's Ministry Budget

Money.  Money.  Money.  It takes money to run a children's ministry.  

This is a question I often get asked. 

"How much money should it take to effectively run my children's ministry?"

There are a lot of factors involved in this - the size of the church, facilities, overall budget numbers for the entire church and debt ratio.

If you are a multi-site church, it can get even more complicated.  How much money should you give each campus?  How do you determine the amount to give each campus?

I've been there...done that.  Let me share some tips with you for determining how much your budget should be.

You can take the guess work out of it.  Do the research and determine how much it cost per child to operate the ministry effectively on the weekends and for special events.

Weekend service(s): 

This should include things like snacks, wet wipes, diapers, curriculum, copies made, volunteer on boarding process, volunteer appreciation, training costs, background checks, crayons, etc. 

Take the total amount you are asking for and divide it by the number of children that are in your ministry on an average week and then divide that by 52 weeks. 

Example - $12,000.00 divided by 125 average weekend attendance divided by 52 = $1.85 per child per weekend.

Then figure out how much it costs per child for events like VBS, camp, pre-teen retreats, high attendance weekends, etc.  Again, take the total amount and divide it by the number of participants you have for these events/programs.

Example  - $2,000 for special events / programs divided by 200 participants = $10 per child for events.

Add the per child numbers together.

  • $1.85 per child per weekend (supplies for 125 kids) total of $231.25 ($12,025 for year)
  • $10 per child for special events (200 attendance) for events total of ($2,000.00 for year)

This brings you to a total budget of $14,00.25 per year.  

Here's where you can determine your multi-site budgets:

Take the number of children at a campus and multiply by $11.85.  

If a campus has 20 children then their budget would be $1,924.00 (weekends) and $200 (special events/programs) = $2,124.00 total budget per year.

If a campus is growing, then you will need to increase their budget based on how many new kids they have added using the same budget ratios above. 

If a campus is in decline, you can decrease their budget based on the numbers shown above.

I trust this will be helpful in your budget preparations.  We are called to be wise stewards with the money God entrusts us with.