Not a Big Budget Church? Lower Your Expectations

Not a Big Budget Church? Lower Your Expectations

May 31, 2017 by

I’m going to say the opposite of every other church communicator out there: You need to lower expectations. Set the bar low. Shoot for what’s possible. Be realistic.

A lot of the experts with their awesome ideas and incredible stories have budgets and teams to match them. And lot of these fancy churches have intricate social media plans and teams ready to respond to comments in 20 minutes or less. They can do what they do because they have the resources to back it up.

Excellence looks different for different churches.

That’s awesome. But most churches don’t have those luxuries. We’re lucky to get a single Facebook post once a week.

Videos? A lot of fancy churches crank out cool videos, live stream, and turn their announcements into a full-on production. They publish magazine-style annual reports chock-full of stories, photos, and amazing stuff.

The rest of us are lucky if we have a video. We rejoice if we can offer a photocopied and stapled annual report free of typos.

Now I’m not knocking big, fancy churches. Their stories inspire and give us something to build toward.

But when your church is 300 strong and not 3,000, and your team is you, yourself, and you, and the budget is nonexistent… well, you need to operate differently.

You need to lower your expectations.

You can’t expect the same results when it’s you and maybe two volunteers rather than a dozen pros. Don’t compare yourself to those churches and people. They work on a different level than you. Look at what they do well and translate it to your level.

Most of the time that requires lowering your expectations. You won’t get thousands of Facebook fans or Instagram followers. People might not gush over a weekly newsletter.

That’s fine. Don’t worry about it. What those churches and you and I are after is excellence. Excellence differs from achievement. It looks different for different churches.

There’s $10,000 excellence, and there’s volunteers and grit excellence. They look different, but they’re both excellent. We both use what we have and entrust all our resources—time, effort, and the budget—to the One who gave them to us in the first place.

And that’s what excellence is. It’s making the most of what you have to the glory of the Father.

We don’t all have the same resources to work with. That’s OK.

My church of 250 people has no communication budget. The communication team consists of one volunteer (me). I have to lower my expectations. It’s the only way to set myself free from the comparison game.

Expectations sometimes trap us in comparison games.

An example in action: When we needed a new website, I set the bar low. We switched to WordPress and used a simple, free theme. Nothing fancy. Barely designed. But it was something we could manage. And people liked it.

Focus on what’s realistic for where you’re at. It’s better for your church. It’s better for you. So lower your expectations. I promise, it’ll take the pressure off and let you excel.

Image: Arria Bell (Creative Commons)
Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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