Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reflections on the Budget Process

Over the last few weeks, those of us who serve on the Chancellor's Council at Taylor University Fort Wayne have put many hours into discussion about the budget for next year. If you've worked at a not-for-profit organization, you probably know already that this isn't a particularly fun activity since there's never enough money to go around.

Having said that, I must note that it really was a very positive experience. Others on the Council agreed. It's great to be able to talk through issues, examine pro's and con's, challenge ideas and still be collegial. Reflecting on our budget work, two insights came my way.

First, I was having lunch with my parents at Burger King last Wednesday and discussing the budget process. I think it was my mom who said, "Well, problems that can be solved with money are the kinds of problems to have." Pretty profound. I thought about that for a few moments and said, "I don't think we have any problems at TUFW that can't be solved with $2 million more a year," meaning that I think we generally have the right attitudes, competencies, vision, and so on . . . we just need more money to carry out our plans. And I'd much rather be short on money but long on vision and teamwork than to have lots of funding but have to deal with difficult people bickering with one another or fighting over turf.

Second, I read Judges 7 this Thursday morning. In that chapter, Gideon is gearing up for battle and God keeps paring the size of his army down, first by 22,000 because God told him, "If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength." From there, the army was reduced by another ten thousand, until only 300 warriors remained. Thus it would be clear that the victory came only through the Lord's power.

There seems to be a parallel to our budget situation at TUFW. Our funding and manpower are limited enough that if and when we do find success, there will be only one reason: God gave us the victory.


Terry Murphy said...

Have been appreciating your blog and pilgrimage from a distance here in Doha, Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Really liked your mom's comment about it is good to have problems that can be solved with money. There are so many relationship problems that can seem so intractable and take years to solve.

Palmer said...

Terry, I've appreciated your comments on the blog. But I have to ask: How did you stumble across it?