6 Tips in Leading Your Next Capital Campaign

I was given a campaign manual on my first day as an XP. That’s right, I got my first assignment and it was to lead our growing church plant through a capital campaign that would allow us to double our space. Over the next six years, I found myself in back-to-back campaigns as our church attendance grew from 500 to over 2,000 people in weekend attendance. I learned some valuable lessons and some best practices during those six years that I want to pass on to you.

> Slow Down in Order to Speed Up

When it comes to campaigns everyone is in a hurry. Proper prep takes time especially when it’s linked to expanding your space. Most of us pastor types (human types) want everything right now. Determining the scope of a project, the consultant, the lender, the architect, the site issues, along with a dozen more issues are critical to address if your campaign is going to be successful. The more focused you are as you begin, the greater the impact and results. Often the best way to speed up the entire process is to slow down.

> Hire the Right Consultant

I’m not sure what would have happened if we had not hired the right consultant from day one. Failing to engage a consultant may actually cost you tens of thousands of dollars in the long haul. Yes, there are fees involved when you hire a good consultant, A good consultant can be costly, but I promise you it’s the best money you can spend if you want to maximize your campaign. You will find these characteristics in a top-notch consultant:

• Calling – Do they have a passion for helping the local church?

• Competent – Do they have a proven track record as a campaign consultant and do they have local church experience?

• Character – Do they do what they say they’ll do? What do are other people say about who they are?

• Chemistry – Do they understand and fit your culture?

> Let the Senior Leader Call the Shots

First, the Senior Pastor must have buy-in and be engaged. Clearly, every senior leader leads differently. I’ve been in situations where the senior leader wanted to micro-manage every detail. I’ve been in other situations where he wanted to be told “when” and “where.” As an XP it should always be your goal to help the senior leader succeed. So lean into his or her leadership style to accomplish this. My starting point as an XP was, “What is it that I must have from the senior leader for this to succeed?” I made sure he was freed up to actually do that. My job began with his job.

> Link Your Campaign to Vision

Campaigns tend to be too focused on money. The place we need to begin is vision. A good campaign will always start and end with vision. Vision clarity is a must. People give to vision, not to buildings unless it’s part of a larger vision.

> Listen to Your Consultant

Don’t assume you know more about the campaign than your consultant. I have found that there are times when leadership resists listening to their consultant. This happens when the church has had a previous win or big success. Unfortunately, a previous win doesn’t mean the next one will go just as well. It often doesn’t.

> Work Really Hard

Campaigns are hard work. Effective campaigns are even harder. The harder you work, the greater the results. Don’t take shortcuts during this season. Plan on working long, hard days. It will pay off.

I hope these tips will guide you to run a successful campaign that will help you advance your mission and make disciples.

More from David.


 

If you enjoyed this article, you need to check out Auxano’s Capital Campaign Boot Camp, coming to Huntington Beach, CA on February 19-20. Click here for full details!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Putman

David Putman

David is a Lead Navigator serving on the Auxano Team, the category leader in vision clarity and vision focus campaigns. He is also founder leader of Planting the Gospel a non-profit ministry committed to helping churches move discipleship from a program to a culture. He has been involved in church planting for over twenty years as a planter, strategist, and coach. He is author of I Woke Up In Heaven, The Gospel Disciple, Detox for the Overly Religious, Breaking the Discipleship Code, and co-author of Breaking the Missional Code with Ed Stetzer. He latest book The Gospel Disciple Journey will be released in February 2014. David’s life mission is to help others discover the simplicity, centrality, and beauty of Jesus and his ways. David is married to Tami and they have two awesome kids, and two even more awesome grandkids.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Why “Decreasing Giving” News Shouldn’t Paralyze You

It should come as no surprise to pastors and ministry leaders that the traditional ways we track and predict things are going the way of the fax machine. And the articles and polls are coming out virtually every week right now: Giving is down in the church! Ugh. As if pastors don’t have enough to worry about.

Here’s my take on this: Most of us were taught (or learned by experience) that attendance and giving records were a pretty decent indicator of how we could plan for financial fuel in the coming year. We used to be able to predict with near clairvoyant accuracy how much may come into the offering in the next 12 months.

Well, we aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. Attendance is as inconsistent as the weather and giving is tilting downward. Most of the blogs and social media chatter is a grand speculation about the national drift toward disengagement with the church. Some blame it on our cell phones, some on the next generation, and still others will attribute it to a more macro trend: Post Christian America.

It is cliché at this point to write about how money has always been a tricky subject for churches. And the church has a bit of a black eye in the view of many of our neighbors – and we deserve it to some extent. Humans run churches. And humans don’t tend to naturally do well with money (whether they have a lot of it or a little). No one seems to have the right amount. Even Jesus knew it would trip people up and slow their progress toward full dedication.

But, for the most part in a mostly Christian context (America), people had a basic sense of obligation to support their local church. Until now. And it is less about the changing tax code than people think.

Those of us as pastors who were afraid to talk about the topic or had no proactive approach to spiritually coaching people toward generous living could get away with this – money would show up in the plates. Until now.

Passivity no longer works. Proactivity still does.

Here is what I’ve learned working with hundreds of churches over the last few decades on a proactive approach to developing generosity in the church. Without a long explanation of how to press into this topic at your church, let me get you started on a few categories I tend to put under the microscope when diagnosing the upside potential at each church.

There are five of them.

  • Theology – Review Your Conviction
  • Discipleship – Teach a Pathway
  • Communication – Create a Culture
  • Strategy – Follow a Plan
  • Relationships – Walk With People

The churches that seem to do a great job of raising financial support and discipleship intensity at the same time have been thoughtful about these categories.

THEOLOGY

Many churches could use a tune up or review on what they believe about money’s role in the church and in the Christian life. With so much unhealthy regard for money in our hearts and culture, we need wisdom on this as much as any time in history.

  • What is our theology of giving, generosity and prosperity?
  • In what ways do we care about the poor?
  • Is giving 10% of income an end, beginning, or neither?
  • Do we think pastors should look at the giving records?
  • Can we hire staff or promote someone into a volunteer leadership position who does not give to the church?
  • Is volunteering time the same (spiritually speaking) as volunteering money?

DISCIPLESHIP

The goal of the church is to create an environment for discipleship. As we lead people to follow the teachings of Jesus, our methodology should include teaching on living with open hands and not having financial resources be our master.

  • Do we believe that helping a Jesus follower with his or her money management is part of a healthy spiritual life?
  • Does this discipline get talked about as much as the other “ways to grow in devotion” like prayer, visiting the sick, silence and service?
  • Do we have clear steps, pathways, classes, and guideposts for people who are growing in the grace of giving?
  • What if someone is not ready to give 10%? What do we teach or mentor them to do?

COMMUNICATION

Ultimately, we shift a culture through the ways we communicate. What church leadership chooses to report and highlight in our use of money will speak to what we truly value and want from our church body. Many churches struggle with knowing what to say or how often to say it.

  • Can we create a culture where it is normal to talk about giving and investing in the work of God?
  • Can we celebrate the use of money?
  • Do we talk about our own individual struggles with money?
  • What is the best way to communicate about the church’s use of money? How can we build trust around the topic of money and church leadership?

STRATEGY

There are critical processes that “best practice” churches have in place when it comes to how to organize their time and resources. Churches that are proactive can build disciplines that enhance the congregation’s trust in leadership as well as create the best possible environment for good management of funds.

  • Is there a plan for spending, saving, and investing God’s money through the bank accounts of the church in keeping with our convictions?
  • How do we set or adjust budgets? Who gets to do this?
  • What do we believe about investing in buildings, facilities, global mission and local needs?
  • Should the church have an annual audit? What about debt?
  • How often should we send out statements of giving to contributors?

RELATIONSHIPS

Ultimately, the most effective leaders understand that beyond process and protocol, the work of the church is about building relationships that lead to spiritual growth. Each church, in keeping with their own style and belief, will need to figure out ways to nurture people in ways that build their faith and therefore their generosity.

  • How can pastors and ministry leaders bring up the topic of money in conversations with members of the congregation without seeming “grabby”?
  • Can we really show that we care more about what we want for people than what we want from them?
  • Should pastors interact with high net worth members to encourage their stewardship in a different way than others?
  • Is there a way to train small group and ministry leaders to “step in” to hard conversations about this area of discipleship?

When I mentioned diagnosing the “upside potential” of each church, I come at this analysis as a pastor. I am, without apology, trying to help churches receive more funding for mission. But I also believe that, done with an eye for spiritual formation, this helps with the discipleship of people in the church. I have seen both increase many times.

So, that is why I encourage you to not give in to the trends. It is not time to cry “Uncle,” particularly if you haven’t gone through a discernment process using the five categories above (or something like it).

If this topic interests you, why don’t you check out Auxano’s Capital Campaign Boot Camp, coming February 19-20 to Huntington Beach, CA? Details and registration information here.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Gibbs

Greg Gibbs

Greg Gibbs is a coffee roaster, consultant and author, and regularly tries to convince his wife that he is an Organizational Communication guru. After 30 years and raising four children together, she is still not quite convinced. Greg has spent decades in the church world, advising leadership on vision clarity, fundraising process, and communication effectiveness. He and his wife reside in the suburbs of Detroit.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

5 Key Insights for Church Capital Campaigns

After 21 years of local church ministry, I’m excited to be a part of the Resourcing Team of Auxano as a Lead Navigator. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on executive teams of great churches ranging in size from 300 on one campus, to 10,000+ on five campuses. One of the greatest challenges of the local church, big or small, is resourcing. Like you, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy raising money. In fact, I’ve been involved in campaign mode for all but six months of my ministry. Looking back on my campaign experiences, here are five insights that I bring with me into this new role:

1.   Vision vs. Project

Titles like “Time To Build” and “Possess The Land” communicate that the focus is the project, potentially void of a clear and compelling vision that would necessitate the project. Unfortunately, in my experience, the project WAS the vision far too often.

2.   “For” vs. “From”

To “Possess The Land” we need people to give money…a lot of money! We inadvertently focus on getting something “from” them, instead of developing a culture that desires something greater “for” them.

3.   Transformational vs. Transactional

When the campaign ends and the project is completed, we can lack legacy of what God has done in us collectively. We end up possessing a building or land, while missing the opportunity to create a significant movement of spiritual transformation in the process.

4.   Generosity vs. Money

We need money…God desires for us to grow in generosity. A church culture of generosity can only be accomplished through strategic discipleship and the movement of God. Chasing money creates a terrible culture for generosity.

5.   All vs. Select

The goal of any campaign should be 100% participation. A typical campaign can focus a lot of leadership energy courting potential big givers, communicating a powerful message to the rest of the congregation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed a family remain seated or skip church during commitment weekend. They felt like they couldn’t participate, because their “widows mite” wouldn’t significantly impact the “hallelujah goal.”

I’ve joined the Resourcing Team of Auxano, because I saw them boldly challenging what I believe has become an outdated and overpriced approach. By elevating the role of vision, leadership, and discipleship, Auxano navigates toward:

1.   Clarity First – campaign goals are contextualized within a well-developed sense of organizational identity and direction.

2.   Process vs. Product – campaign design is emphasized through collaboration not prescription.

3.   Leadership Development – a holistic look at leadership development occurs before, during, and after the campaign.

4.   Discipleship Measurables –there is no such thing as a church vision that is not first a discipleship vision.

The economic crash of 2008 brought about significant change, not only financially, but culturally as well. People have become far more discerning about the dollars they’re investing, requiring a clear return of impact on that investment. Smart leaders are doing the hard work of identifying their Church Unique, clarifying and communicating their compelling vision, creating margin by simplifying programming, and growing generous disciples that are taking the Church to their own neighborhoods. I believe that we’re once again getting back to what God intended His local church to be. Join the movement!


> Would you like to learn more about capital campaigns for your church? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

> Learn more about Auxano’s Capital Campaign Boot Camp February 19-20 in Huntington Beach, CA.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kent Vincent

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Is It Time for You to Plan a Capital Campaign?

Is it time to invest in a big way in your future? Let’s plan a Capital Campaign together!

During 2020, Auxano will be leading a tell-all two-day session of the secrets of capital campaign consultants. Let’s look right at the consultant’s playbook.

The value of these two days could save your church thousands and help raise hundreds of thousands in additional financial support.

For $1,995, churches can bring up to five team members for this event that is rocking the church capital campaign landscape.

 

Your Boot Camp Experience Includes:

  • Two days of immersive and interactive training with your team of 5
  • Guided learning around core leadership principles from the book, Capital Campaign Playbook
  • Development of a strategy for raising over-and-above financial support for special projects and dream fulfillment
  • The pathway for church leadership to engage the congregation through discipleship
  • The methodology to stay vision-focused and faith-infused throughout the journey of generous giving
  • Collaborative learning with dynamic churches from across the country
  • Virtual follow-up sessions with Boot Camp participants two and three months after the Boot Camp
  • Light breakfast, lunches and breaks throughout the Boot Camp

Transportation to the host church, local lodging, and evening meals are NOT included.

Based on hundreds of capital campaigns led by our team with churches of every size and tribe, this two-day intensive was launched to give churches a readiness tool for leaders with dreams requiring capital investment.

100% of the Boot Camp fee is refundable through January 31, 2020. 25% is non-refundable after February 1, 2019.

Facilitators 

Greg Gibbs and Kent Vincent will create a collaborative learning environment to help you design a Capital Campaign fueled by vision and built around a culture of discipleship. This Boot Camp will help raise both dollars and disciples in a massive way!

> Register for the Capital Campaign Boot Camp here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Move People from the Sidelines to Full Engagement in Your Next Capital Campaign

My first memory of a capital campaign forms the image of a 2×3 foot poster neatly taped to a wall with a hand-drawn thermometer on it. I was ten years old and my church was raising $50,000 (an inconceivable sum and thus an insurmountable goal) to “save the camp.” I still remember my surprise when success was announced. What had I missed? Is a camp really worth $50,000? Somewhat awestruck I asked myself, “Who among us has that kind of money to spare?”

As a Vision Clarity Lead Navigator with Auxano, I also help clients with capital campaigns from a clarity first perspective. I’ve found that the two questions I asked myself as a ten-year-old get more sophisticated, but they don’t really change. Until our folks internalize why we are doing this project right now, they will be watching from the sidelines wondering why we’re talking about money (again) and who is going to step up.

A Clarity First, Vision-based Capital Campaign prioritizes why and how the project will advance your church’s mission. Follow the classic campaign principle to make the project clear, but make sure the vision that is driving it shines clearer. A clear and properly ordered connection between your vision and the project will not only help you reach your campaign goals, but it can also prevent the project from replacing the church’s vision. A building-first vision has long been a danger to the people of God and transforms a necessary provision of your vision into a significant obstacle. At worst, a congregation can lose its identity entirely and degenerate into a not-for-profit charity or construction company.

Vision Casting for a Campaign:

  • Frame the campaign in the context of God’s action in the history of the church.
  • Show how the project will help you advance the church’s mission.
  • Paint a vivid picture of the better future the project can help to create.
  • Connect your congregation emotionally with why we are doing this now.
  • Each person has a place in making the project happen.
  • Your mission is part of the larger Great Commission.

From three-minute conversations, to an entire sermon series, we want our folks to envision a better future and see how they can help make it happen.

Thinking back over the decades since my first memory of the $50,000 campaign to save the camp, I can see that I had no better ability as a ten-year-old to understand the real world value of $50,000 than I did a camp. However, if someone could have given me a glimpse into the future for me to see the role that camp was going to play in my spiritual formation (and thousands of others) over the following decades…the camp would have become priceless and $50,000 would have been transformed from an inconceivable sum into a mission-critical objective.

> Read more from Mike

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Gammill

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.