A pastor commented to me the other day, "I'm so excited to see that gifts to UBA are exceeding the budget. That's really good news." It is, and I wouldn't want anyone to think otherwise. But the there's more to the story than the numbers you see.
Each year UBA approves a budget for the coming year. The budget reflects the ministry we desire to have and the resources we believe we need. Since giving to UBA fluctuates so much from month to month and sometimes year to year, we develop a second budget--a more conservative budget--that we operate on until we see how giving will go. Since the recession a few years ago, we've never made our approved budget. Some years we struggled to make our conservative budget. So we started using the conservative (not the approved) budget when we made our reports.
What does that mean? It means receipts this year exceed our conservative budget (the one we have been reporting). However, receipts fall short of our approved budget. That means we are getting by, but we are not getting ahead! There is so much we need to do that we've not been able to do. For example: