Some congregations want an effective strategy for regularly and systematically reducing their debt but have difficulty determining how to do it. Should a congregation’s debt be amortized, accounted for, and paid monthly as a line-item on the annual budget? Or are capital campaigns specifically designated for reducing debt the better way? Charis Group’s stewardship and capital campaign consulting firm founder Mark Brooks says that the best strategy is different for different congregations. Brooks advises that a congregation’s most appropriate strategy is in part determined by the percentage of debt that a congregation carries in relationship to its annual budget. To that end, Brooks offers three different ratios of debt to budget as guidelines for congregations to use as they determine an effective strategy. The percentages can be easily calculated and used by a variety of congregations.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover