The sum allocated by a conference committee to each evangelist as a budget for conducting a campaign is usually for the period of a year. Since we desire to carry on aggressive work during the latter months as well as in the first half of the year, we will do well to remember this when planning for the expenditure of the budget set for us.
If the campaign is to begin at the beginning of the year, we should not plan to spend more than seventy per cent of the sum set by the conference during the first half of the year, the object being to reserve approximately thirty per cent of the budget for the latter months of the year to bind off the effort and carry on more follow-up work. However, if the campaign is begun, say, on October t, then the heavy percentage of expenditure would naturally come during the latter months of the year. In other words, never spend all your budget allowance in the first few weeks of a campaign, and have no funds left for follow-up work.
In addition to the regular appropriation for evangelism granted by your conference committee, determine to raise as much money as possible by literature sales, offerings, and special donations, even to covering the cost of hall rents, so that you can continue your meetings for a longer period if possible. This is certainly to the advantage of the evangelist, and may mean a larger baptism.
We do not feel that our evangelistic budgets are adequate, of course, and yet the conference committees have set them as high as their means will permit. But even though a budget is not as large as one would like to have, care in expenditure will greatly help in balancing one's budget, evangelistic or otherwise.
In the case of our new and younger workers, they should seek counsel from their field leaders and conference treasurers, by submitting a suggested expenditure of the sum granted them for evangelistic work before launching forth. Then when the budget has been approved, they can go forth in the strength of the Lord, stick to it, live to it, and close their effort on the right side, instead of on the wrong side. Although money is necessary to carry on a strong work, there is a statement in Volume IX, page rIo, of the "Testimonies" that is well worth remembering:
"There is a necessity, it is true, for expending money judiciously in advertising the meetings, and in carrying forward the work solidly. Yet the strength of every worker will be found to lie, not in these outward agencies, but in trustful dependence upon God, in earnest prayer to Him for help, in obedience to His word. Much more prayer, much more Christlikeness, much more conformity to God's will, is to be brought into the Lord's work. Outward show, and extravagant outlay of means, will not accomplish the work to be done."
From our experience we feel that, generally speaking, our evangelists are keeping in touch with the treasury department very well indeed. I trust that I shall not be misunderstood when I urge that the evangelists send in their monthly effort report regularly, at the same time as their request for salary and expenses, so that the treasurer can deal with all the requests of an individual worker at one time. To the report, attach receipts supporting the payments which you have made. This is very important.
Further, I suggest that when you launch a campaign and write to the treasurer for a sum of money on account, you tell him why you require such a sum of money. It is right that he be informed concerning your hall, and I would suggest that you acquaint him with the full particulars concerning the rent which you have to meet, and why you need such a large amount in advanGe. Incidentally, may I mention here that the treasurer should not allow any expenditure, evangelistic or otherwise, to exceed the budget abnormally.
Personal Finances.—There is but one place in the world as far as temporal things are concerned where one can live and be happy —and that is within one's income. What I have already stated with regard to care in the handling of an evangelistic budget may also be recommended in the personal budget. Count the cost before entering into liabilities. This will enable you to avoid debt. Those who really- mean to solve this difficult problem of keeping within financial bounds must look the matter straight in the face, and budget their income.
There is no doubt that debt is a most distressing and discouraging factor in the home life, and Satan will use such a lever to spoil the spiritual life. Every worker should guard against supposed wants that require an expenditure above his means. The Lord is expecting us all to practice economy, operate our personal expenses aright, and be faithful accountants in the home life as well as in His organized work. In these days of stress, workers for God are called to definite economy, generous action, resolute purpose, and clear vision.