A Balanced Portfolio for Mission Support

This resource is to help churches review the balance in their support of mission activity beyond the church. It suggests a method for analysing and reviewing how a church budget is allocated across different types of mission and ministry: locally, nationally and globally. It’s so easy to add projects or organisations without considering the overall balance of the “portfolio”. So here’s a way to help the mission committee, leadership team, church council, or diaconate (or a group by another name with this responsibility) to evaluate whether the mission portfolio has the balance they intend. It uses the same principle that you’d use with any investment ie that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

 

How to do it?

  • Make a list of the people, projects and organisations that your church currently supports.

  • Enter them on the matrix supplied with this resource, grouping together by line the local, national and global areas of activity.

  • Decide whether each initiative is primarily about:

    • Mercy, relief etc

    • Influence and advocacy

    • Discipleship and training

    • Evangelism

    • Another areas of ministry

And enter the financial value of the support in the relevant column.

  • Total each column and calculate the percentage of total support for each.

  • The answer may surprise you: so ask some questions:

    • Is this the right balance?

    • What would the most appropriate balance be?

    • How might you go about moving towards that target in the coming years?

 

 

When?

Its worth carrying out this exercise at least every three years. You may decide its worth doing annually if there has been significant change in what is being supported or the size of the mission budget.

Other applications?

You may also find this a helpful tool to analyse

  • Your overall church budget and activities. You may choose slightly different headings such as

    • Preaching and teaching

    • Evangelism

    • Pastoral care

    • Social action and advocacy

    • Children’s and youth work

Of course you may already be using headings like this to report your annual accounts. The addition of percentages makes it clearer for people to grasp.

  • Your personal giving portfolio (see similar resource under Signposts below).

 

Signposts

 

Author & copyright: Helen Calder 2019