Vision Recovery Process, Steps 3 & 4: INVOLVE Your Teams, EXECUTE Your Plan

The Vision Recovery Process is Auxano’s five-step framework for navigating and helping church leaders plan through all three phases.

Join Greg Gibbs and Mike Gammill on Tuesday 4/28 for:

Step 3: INVOLVE Your Teams. A collaborative process designed to get the right information, to the right people, at the right time.

Step 4: EXECUTE Your Plan. A strategically placed initiative designed to re-engage your church.

 

 

The webinar is free, but you must register: https://auxa.no/2Xvbcdj Tuesday April 28, 11am EDT/10am CDT

If you would like to view our previous webinars in the Better Future Web Series, check out the archives 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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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.

Empathy During a Pandemic, Part 2: The Weirdness of Work for Now

In Part 1, we explored how personality differences can cause us to act out during a time of uncertainty and stress. Let’s face it: It is just weird right now.

As we try to continue being productive, we need to recognize the complexity of the shifting sands beneath our feet when it comes to workplace engagement. On top of that, some of us have toddlers beneath our feet at the same time. Many of us are asking questions about what post-pandemic life will be like – and whether or not we will have a job (or the same job) as many organizations will re-structure.

Still, we press on. And work is work, which means that there are still the normal differences of opinion, misunderstandings about the expectations of our supervisors, and the “normal” ups and downs of the business side of life.

But the complexity of navigating day-to-day business just ramped up because virtual work highlights the sometimes-stark differences in life stage for some of us.

In my experience so far, some who are empty nesters have even a more uncluttered workspace without the natural interruptions of being in a physical workspace. No one “drops by” to say hello or chitchat about the weather or their favorite baseball team. Heck, no one is playing baseball anyway. These are the people that can actually stay focused for more than a few minutes at a time. This is not so for many.

Again, let’s consider some reminders that can give us the empathy we all need to get through for a while longer:

Stage of life affects work now more than ever. Another aspect of what has surfaced recently is that people respond according to their age and stage of life. There are plenty of differences between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers in terms of their prioritization of family, work-life balance and more. This is less of an issue because most work environments level the playing field. We all come to an office and are operating in an environment that is free from the things that distinguish our ages. But now there is a massive difference between people who are dealing with the challenges of infants, toddlers, school age children and college kids at home. Most of us got thrust into a home office environment that is drastically different than our normal work life and has a level of chaos. Then there is another group of us who do not have children at home and have even more time to concentrate and ramp up our efficiency, wondering why others are not in 5th gear with us. And still others have concerns that characterize middle to late career – the stock market, long-term health care, and aging parents. Again, normally these things don’t hang around our necks when we arrive to the office. But today, everyone’s context and stressors are decidedly different.

Leaders have a difficult job. Under normal circumstances, leaders are expected to provide clarity and direction. They are to point out the vision for our future, and then align us to help see that vision turn into reality. Every leader has a different capacity to deliver this guidance in a healthy way, but everyone is simply guessing right now. Under these new stressful circumstances, the weaknesses and strengths of our leadership will be on display. Leaders will respond according to their wiring and immediate context – some are in personal turmoil, some do not deal well with conflict or crisis, and so on. But this is usually smoothed out by the fact that they can communicate with each other (senior teams, executive committees, etc.) and come up with a solid game plan. These days even that is compromised as they may be struggling just to connect with each other. When leaders are disconnected and destabilized, the chaos is exacerbated.  

We are not sure if our work matters. For our friends in healthcare and government it is very clear that their work matters. There are also some non-profits that were built for such a time as this. But for many others the questions about the future stimulate questions about the value of their work now. Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing enough? Is this actually going to mean something if the organization gets completely re-shuffled in the new order of post-pandemic life? Are the leaders not telling us something about our job stability? And, when we return, will I even recognize the organization as a place that I once knew and thrived in?

As we move forward in this “new normal,” how can we lead strong and get the best from those around us? What are the areas that are under our control? What can we do to build influence and goodwill in our organization? Here are a few recommendations:

1. We can communicate with clarity. Clarity wins in an uncertain time. A very helpful approach to communicating right now is to connect with people compassionately, empathize with the uncertainty, and tell them what you know and don’t know yet. Remember the old adage “under promise and over deliver.” Stick to the emotion in the room (or video chat) and communicate what you know and how you are expecting people to operate in the organizational wilderness.

2. We can come up with ground rules for the new normal. The rules and boundaries that are present will need to be revised in light of the changing circumstances. Perhaps an approach could be a “From-To” exercise where leadership expresses that we are moving “from” this “to” that. For example, we are moving from three-hour weekly executive tam meetings at 9-12 on Mondays to a 30-minute check-in Zoom call with the executive team from 9-9:30am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As well, there may be temporary processes established around other functions: decision-making, budgeting and spending, meeting rhythm, resolving disputes or conflicts, etc. Clear communication is key here.

3. We can offer grace and latitude. If there was ever a time to give people grace and latitude, the time is now. Apple has a customer service approach that is deeply embedded in empathy. They say that the first thing a person needs to feel is that you care about their situation or problem. Now is the time to mimic this and step into the humanness of each person with whom we interact. As much as the above observations and recommendations are about what to do when we see each other “off the rails,” the fact is that many people and organizations are modeling this beautifully. May we all find our way of doing the same.

 


 

In case you missed it, here is part one of this series.

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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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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.

Empathy During a Pandemic, Part 1: Personality Differences Matter in a Virtual World

In this unprecedented time, many people are “acting out” at an alarming pace! Many of us are finding ourselves a little more grumpy than normal.

The articles and information in the first few weeks of the crisis have been about the tactical and technical; how to move things to virtual, increase your online presence or what to do if you are experiencing a financial dip.

What about the people? What about our work relationships? The ways we interact with and treat our colleagues in this season are of critical importance. These interactions can be gifts or scars – and either will last long after the stay-at-home edicts.

We seem to be forgetting the lessons we have learned – especially over the last decade – around the social sciences. And, some have taken what we know about basic human communication in a digital age and filed it away somewhere deep in their mental memory banks. 

These moments of forgetfulness are rearing their ugly head right now in the midst of a crisis. Here are a few reminders to keep us all sane – because we may be in this new normal for a while:

The stress is unprecedented. Few of us have dealt with a multi-faceted attack on our collective sense of security. In a very short amount of time, almost everything we count as normal has a big question marking floating above it. Many of us are dealing with health and economic questions – all shining a spotlight on an uncertain future. Add to that the social and relational component with families in close proximity, rocky marriages can be even more strained, work relationships are still trying to find equilibrium, and much more. Some have concerns outside of the home with aging parents or under-resourced members of the family who do not live nearby. Unfortunately, many of us can put a check mark next to every single category mentioned above. The truth is that this collective level of stress is higher than many of us are prepared for.

Under stress we default to the worst version of ourselves. Each of us has a unique story, personality, and wiring. That wiring has unique strengths and some distinct weaknesses. Many of the social sciences (Enneagram, Myers Briggs, Gallup StrengthFinder, Disc, etc.) give us language for the highs and lows. The ability to understand that everyone has a natural tendency to act, respond, communicate, disagree, work, play and live in a certain way is paramount to connecting to people under stress. Your personal wiring can also show that you have a certain response to conflict or stress. There are the classics – overeating or drinking, amusing oneself with mindless games or hobbies, procrastinating, etc. But some of the “basement” versions of ourselves affect others in hurtful ways. Controlling behaviors, blame, anger, and more – all things that come out of us when we wish they would not. Not surprisingly, the ugly ones are coming to the surface by now. Understanding these tendencies and preferences while being proactive is key to leading in this crisis.

For now, dealing with conflict is digital. Part of the challenge right now is that our culture went from in-person to virtual in a matter of days.  Some of us are adept at living in a digital or virtual world with meetings and interactions – you’ve been Zooming or FaceTiming since those platforms existed. But most of us are not. Many had never heard of Zoom until a few weeks ago. Even if we had been trafficking in online meetings and interactions, it just went to warp speed and we don’t have all the ground rules for human interaction in the new mode. How do we address conflict in this space? What is the best way to deal with differences over video, phone and text? When you eliminate the 85% of non-verbal communication everything changes. Even phone calls aren’t ideal for conflict for the same reason. The fact is most of our communication still eliminates the non-verbal and the mediums that we are using right now can hurt us not help us. Learning to deal with conflict in an emotionally intelligent way is needed now more than ever. 

In the “new normal” what are the ground rules? Can we even figure that out right now? It is a time that calls for great empathy and still a level of productivity. Here are a few recommendations:

1. We should presume everyone is stressed. Everyone has a different definition of “being stressed” and some handle it better than others. But for now, we would do well to presume that everyone is off balance. A flight attendant explained to me once that whether it is the mother with a toddler or the frequent traveling businessperson who seems to have it all together, travel is stressful for everyone – flight attendants are trained to presume this and act accordingly.

2. We can begin meetings with personal “check-ins.” This is the virtual substitute for hallway or coffee room conversations that usually allow for the social lubricant to keep the organization engine moving. Without recognizing the humanness of our colleagues, the mechanics will start to produce friction. Some people may seem quiet or frustrated and do not know how to express that on a virtual call with multiple team members. It may be helpful to offer to a colleague, “Can I check in with you after this meeting just to make sure you and I are on the same page?” These gestures of care may seem obvious but happen with more ease in a physical space. Intentionality is needed more than ever with relationship management.

3. We must agree on conflict resolution dynamics. Even when we are together in a workspace, we tend to forget that opinions, emotions, and critique of someone (or even their idea) is not as well received on email or text. Still, we get a little lazy, and shoot off an email with the hopes that it was so well written we will solve the fuzziness or disagreement. It takes less time but may add to a breech in relationship with tiny little “cracks” that build up over time. Each organization needs to decide how this will be handled and then play by a set of rules, even if they are only for our pandemic wilderness. No one has “steady legs” right now, so practicing extra kindness and empathy will help us now and in the future.

 


 

Want to know more? Auxano Senior Lead Navigator Mike Gammill unpacks questions and concerns around your church staff team in a virtual setting.

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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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.

Better Future Series: ADAPT Your Generosity

In these no-cost, 30-minute daily leadership moments, our team of Navigators is delivering timely content designed to bring breakthrough clarity in a season of unprecedented uncertainty.

When will we shift from the “safe at home” posture to the “back to church” new normal?

 

For these two sessions, Auxano Senior Lead Navigator and Director of Resourcing Greg Gibbs unpacks questions and concerns around church finances. Click on the images below to watch the videos.

 

Part 1

 

Part 2

 


 

Participate in LIVE daily (M-F) sessions OR catch all the replays 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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.

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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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Resourcing >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.

The Captivating Connection Between Disciple Making and Capital Campaigns

Among the reasons I am still committed to the “dust up” that campaigns create is that they raise way more than financial support. A discipleship-based campaign raises the faith temperature in the hearts of people in a way that is life-changing.

I have had the honor of collecting a traveler’s suitcase full of experiences from being involved in over 100 capital campaigns. So I have a perspective on the ones that do it with an eye toward life-change and the ones that are gunning primarily for the bucks. In a how-to manual I recently wrote for church leaders called Capital Campaign Playbook, I outline the ways churches can utilize best practices for campaigns with the dual goal of spiritual growth and financial success.

Of course campaigns can be run without the spiritual impact as a co-equal goal with the need for money. But I have met so many people who mark it as an inflection point in their spiritual life. They say things like: “Before the campaign, I didn’t understand how important money was to my relationship with God.”

The time for introspection and heart “check up” often leads to a heart change. Here are a few signs I’ve seen that this is true:

1) People Experience Joy

Even though most of us know that it is better to give than receive, we strangely spend a lot of our energy trying to be on the receiving end of things. When a heartfelt gift is given toward the work of God through my church, an incredible joy can be experienced. To know that we are participating with God and with our church in its ministries is a gratifying sense of true joy.

2) People Remember God

Ultimately, giving is an act of worship. It is putting money in its place by using it as our slave and not our master. We don’t worship money – we worship God. And we prove that by deflating the power and hold that money has on us. We open our hands instead of clutching on to God’s resources with closed and white-knuckled fists. And when we do that, we are true worshippers.

3) People Become Free

How many of us are shackled by pressures and stress related to money? We are trying to make more, keep more, and build our earthly net worth. Sometimes, the American Dream becomes an endless treadmill of striving for an unattainable goal. Is there truly an amount that will satisfy? The most satisfaction comes from contentment. And giving is a step toward saying, “enough really is enough.”

4) People Appreciate Grace

At the heart of the gospel is giving. God loves us…so He gave! He gave us breath, life, friendships, family, dance, art, food, and so many other things. Most important of all, He gave us Christ, whose death on our behalf gives us abundant life now and forever. It is hard to comprehend God’s giving to us. When we try, however, we are often motivated to mimic that grace with generosity of our own. Grace doesn’t make sense. But without it, we have nothing.

5) People Break Strongholds

Some of us were raised in families where experiences created strongholds or generational stuckness that we don’t even realize. Because of experiences of loss, hurt, ambition and hundreds of other things, we have unintentionally made money, success and economic stability a kind of idol. It causes many to make soul-crushing choices about doing a job that “pays well” as opposed to what God designed us to do. It causes us to operate in fear way more than faith – fear that we lose what we’ve gained, fear that we will never have enough, fear about the future. When we truly understand God’s promises to us and release money, we are breaking that mold – we are saying in a very deep way, “I trust God so much I can live a life of generosity. I know I will be ok in the long run.”

6) People Unite Around Mission

One of the beautiful aspects of an all-in moment in the life of a congregation is that we can look at each other with a new sense of common mission. This produces a bond and a sense of community that often lasts for years. It creates a memory that links us: “Remember when we all committed to our church’s campaign?” And, then to see the impact of the collective giving of an entire congregation is something people often remember with great fondness. Think about the unity generated when we remember “that building we got to build together” or “that church we planted together” or “the education wing we added for the kids.” Unity is a big deal in how Jesus described His church and campaigns provide a prime opportunity to experience this collective spiritual moment.

Want to learn more about how Capital Campaigns can provoke this kind of spiritual breakthrough? I’d kindly ask you to check out my book, Capital Campaign Playbook: An Insider Look At A Church Consultant’s Game Plan.

Or download Chapter 1 FOR FREE right here!


 

> For a deeper dive into the spiritual breakthrough possible in a capital campaign, check out our Capital Campaign Boot Camp, coming February 19-20 to Huntington Beach, CA. Find out complete details and register here.

Download PDF

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Resourcing >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.

How to Crack the Code on the Future of Church Capital Campaigns

Here’s a little context for you: I’ve been helping lead out Capital Campaigns for almost 20 years, which means I’m clocking in at 100+ campaigns, including doing them (successfully!) during the 2008-2010 economic recession. Oh, and by the way…I live near Detroit!

Believe me, we not only felt the sting for those years, but have experienced the economic PTSD that goes along with that moment in history. People lost a lot. They lost jobs, homes, and often proximity to family support.

But I’ve noticed there are some long-lasting effects and Capital Campaigns can be a complex thing to talk about. The tension is palpable – even at the best churches in America.

Here are five barriers I’m seeing right now, along with five ways we can crack the code.

1) The Generation That Likes to Build Stuff is Passing Away

One of the great things about the Builders is that they got our country through some hard times and were instrumental in building churches, companies, and organizations that are now part of the fabric of our culture. As time passes, these builders (who also populate the top-giver ranks of many churches in America) are passing away. And some of the values they espoused are passing away with them.

CRACK THE CODE:
Continue to understand the ways to communicate with the generations behind the Builders. The Boomers still have a lot of wealth to give away – and the younger generations just need to be heard. They are ready to give, and are, in fact, one of the most generous generations, but they will want to see how dollars are connected to actual human impact. They grew up asking questions about ROI (and this is a good thing!).

2) The Institutional Church is Looked at with Skepticism

The church in America has always taken some level of criticism, but the real difference is the loudest cynics used to be primarily outside the church. Times have changed. Now, even inside the church the idea of committing to or investing in “the institution” of the church comes with some hefty questions.

CRACK THE CODE: 
Do not be afraid to do a kind of gracious defense of the church (at large) and your church. Meaning: Do not be defensive and do not excuse bad behavior by the church. But instead, kindly review the impact the church has had throughout the history of America, throughout all of history, and what impact your church has had for the good of the community in which you live. If you’re being faithful to your vision and that calling, people’s perspectives change.

3) Church Members are Busy, Distracted, and Not Present

Probably the hottest topic on church leadership blogs and forums for the last five years or so has been the decline of worship attendance. Will people choose sports events, kids activities or just stream online church service? Are they simply not motivated to spend their Sunday morning in the traditional place for Christians to go – church services? This impacts the ways in which we can get the word out about anything – including large scale funds initiatives.

CRACK THE CODE:
Be ruthless in your evaluation of your current communication strategies. What is working? How are people receiving information the best? Do we have the most effective platforms and channels? Ask communication specialists in the congregation to audit your approach and create a task team to help the church with going to a new level of excellence. But even more so, dig into what’s really happening at your church. Often, we use anecdotal evidence rather than really uncovering what might be happening. But at the end of the day, people show up and give to vision, and a worship service isn’t the vision. It’s simply a vehicle. Make sure people (or your messaging) don’t confuse the vision for the vehicle.

4) Younger Christians are More Likely to Give To NPOs

The next generation (let’s call it the under 40 crowd) have an amazing level of passion for meeting the needs of the world, both spiritually and in other ways. Though most churches are doing great work in a very fiscally responsible way, the point is there are still Non-Profit Organizations outside (or alongside) the church that have the ability to specialize and streamline their ministry focus, which creates opportunities for the under-40 crowd to really tailor their giving.

CRACK THE CODE:
Find out if this is true about the younger generations in your church. Ask them! Host a dinner with the express intent of having a discussion with a few dozen families about what motivates them to give, what turns them off, and whether or not the church is hitting the mark. Without being defensive, talk about the current ways in which the church is addressing justice, poverty, or education. And find out what it would take to garner more support for the church. Again, this is about vision! Maybe they have a vision for what your church can do, they desperately want to be part of it, and you now have some fresh bench strength!

5) There has Been Unrest about Long-Term Commitment Since 2010

There is no doubt that the majority of responses to funding needs were very consistent (with few exceptions) for decades in the Church Capital Campaign space. But something cracked in 2008-2010. All of a sudden asking someone for long-term commitments (the standard practice) felt like a shaky proposition.

CRACK THE CODE:
Consider going shorter term for your capital campaign collection – many churches are gravitating toward two-year collection periods (24 months) instead of the long standing tradition of three-year campaigns. Or consider cultivating increased generosity to the general fund combined with top-level budgeting practices to get the capital needed through the regular offerings. In other words, if you need a certain amount of capital and it actually amounts to (or equals) a 20% increase to your general fund each year, consider campaigning for this. It is somewhat semantic (because you are campaigning either way) but could be a great option for the church.

Doom and gloom? Not at all!

There are hundreds and hundreds of churches every year in America that do a bang up job of running a faith-soaked and discipleship-based capital campaign that have win-win benefits.

Want to hear more? You’re in luck! These are covered in my book called the Capital Campaign Playbook: An Insider Look At A Church Consultant’s Game Plan.

You can even download the first chapter here!

Better yet – This information, plus a lot more, is a part of our next Capital Campaign Boot Camp, February 19-20, in Huntington Beach, CA.

> Find out more information and register 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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COMMENTS

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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.

Three Non-Negotiables for Raising Funds for the Church

When it comes to raising funds for your church, consider the following three actions to be non-negotiable.

1. Trust in Leadership

Integrity is doing what you said you’d do and operating true to your stated mission. When people sense that men and women at the top are solid leaders, one of the chief obstacles to financial support is overcome. When leaders have character and consistently operate with professionalism and kindness, the likelihood of garnering support goes up. As well, leadership can exude a humble confidence that gives calm because of a steady hand at the helm of the ship.

Additionally, when there is demonstrated effort and hard work, it communicates the health of the organization from the top down. It says, “we are not presuming anything about your support – we know we have to work hard and demonstrate results or you will give your support to another worthy cause and we don’t blame you.” Financial audits also ensure the squeaky clean professionalism that is a must as well. All of these things show that the leaders can be trusted.

2. Clear and Compelling Vision

There are a few questions that need to be answered by any organization with absolutely clarity and unity. This is the classic elevator pitch – the idea that it if you cannot articulate your vision in the time it takes to ride an elevator (30 seconds to 2 minutes), then it isn’t honed enough. And if the people that speak on your behalf aren’t saying something strikingly similar, then confusion will be the result:

Where are we headed?

What must be answered is the big idea – what is the goal, project or plan that has captured your attention and for which you are working so hard? What do you want? The listener needs to hear in your passion and see in your eyes that you are undeterred in your focus and know what you are aiming for.

Why is that worthy or important?

Out of all of the things in which someone could invest their time and money, why is your cause the one that they should support? Is it important because people will be helped or society will be impacted – will needs will be met? Are you addressing something for which you are uniquely qualified? 

How do we intend to get there?

In the vision, there needs to be a brief sense of how you intend to accomplish your goal. Otherwise, it sounds like you are dreamer without a plan. “We are taking on child hunger in Detroit” is not as powerful as “We are partnering with every elementary school in Detroit Public Schools to make sure that each child has breakfast before the school day starts”.   This doesn’t reveal intimate detail about the plan, but if you said this on an elevator ride, the other passengers would have a very good idea of what you are all about.

What will be the result?

            Help me understand how the future will look different if this vision is fulfilled.

Before a person is willing to support something financially, they want to know that you are committed to results. Can we measure the impact and how are we intending to do so? Will we hear a report on the success (or failure) of the attempt? Ideally, we can paint a picture that seems emotionally or spiritually satisfying when we cast vision. And in the best case scenario, the prospective funder will be able to align their personal desire for impact with what you are doing. So, give them a sense for what it will be like when it’s all said and done.

3. Sense that we are part of a Winning Team

This is an intangible “gut feeling” that people will get about a church. More than just winning as a generally positive vibe, it is about a sense that God is at work through this church in visible ways. People don’t want to re-arrange deck chairs on the titanic or align themselves with something that feels like its dying or losing.   It is more than just public relations. People tend to look for early indicators that a proposed project or ministry is on the right course and that the church has a proven track record for Kingdom impact. Positive emotion also comes from hearing the endorsement of others (who have credibility) who are supportive of the vision. The ministry track record of the church will be the primary driver of this hunch that is hard to describe.

The most important of these three is Trust in Leadership without a doubt. In an age of well-founded skepticism about leaders run amok, integrity at the top is the key.

With that, however, the other two items mixed into the recipe will make for certain success. (This all presumes that an organization has a sense for the best practices and tactics associated with raising funds). So, with solid strategy and approach and the three non-negotiable concepts mentioned, increased funding is on the way.

Connect with an Auxano Navigator to learn more about Generosity in your church.


 

Lean about these three non-negotiables – and much more – at Auxano’s Capital Campaign Boot Camp coming to Huntington Beach, CA, February 19-20.

 

Download PDF

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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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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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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COMMENTS

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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.

Creating an Effective Fund Raising Video

Many churches are investing time and money in a video – or more than one – that tells the story of their need for infused capital beyond the regular budget. Others are using for a Year-End-Giving campaign to inspire people about the accomplishments of the year. It can be a powerful part of reminding people of the reasons for financial support and investment. It trips all the triggers – informational, inspirational, visual, emotional and more. Will time and money spent on a video it be an investment with a positive return?

The fact is this: In order for your video to be an effective fundraising tool, it must contain an “Ask”.

Many succumb to the temptation to make a feel good video about your church’s long-term vision or short-term need but leave out the most critical part – the call to action.   Videos should end with a direct request like, “Our new student facility will better enable more young people to come to a safe place to explore the teachings of Jesus and be in healthy, positive relationships. Please prayerfully consider your financial support of this great initiative and be ready to respond by November 1st.

If you don’t, you have led the giver to the edge of the pool, but never invited them to jump in. This is a missed opportunity.

There are a few critical questions that should be answered in a video.   Excellent videos do this seamlessly and through storytelling and multiple ambassadors (a leader, a contributor, a volunteer, a person served by the cause, etc) as opposed to simply a golden-toned narrator with a script and some video footage.

The questions listed below have a sense of order to them but they do not represent a “storyboard” for a video.   The storyboard is how the video team crafts a beginning, the middle, and an ending – the scenes or chapters of the story are planned in advance. Answering these questions, however, will ensure that you shoot great footage and make it an effective fundraising tool: 

  • Is this a cause worth supporting?

In the crush of so many great organizations asking your potential donor for financial support, please tell us why this cause has merit – is it making a difference? Introduce me right away to a person whose life has been changed because of what you are doing. Also, tell me about potential for enormous impact. I want to know that the ripple effect is big.

  • What are others doing?

I would like to know if you are asking a large group of people, a handful, or just me. I would like to know if I’m the only guy “jumping in the pool” or can I join other sharp, astute donors that will give me the confidence that I’m joining a group of winners and a winning organization? Otherwise, I may have the fear that you will be more dependent on my donation than I want you to be.

  • What are you doing?

Please share with me the specifics of your church’s efforts or focus. What do you do specifically to make a difference? Tell me, but don’t bog me down with too much detail – I can find that out on your website. This is the meat and potatoes, but the hardest part to keep succinct.

  • Why?

Let me know what motivates you. Is it the dire nature of the need? Is it something spiritual? Is it because you have a personal connection with the people you serve? Is it because of the effectiveness of the cause? I need to know the heart behind the stats.

  • What are you asking me to do?

Here is where the rubber meets the road. As a key ingredient to staying “on message” in your efforts to raise funds, make sure the ask doesn’t get skipped or muddied. Be clear with me – I have a lot in my brain and I need you to make it simple. What do you want? Do you want me to give a gift? Make a pledge? Got to your website for more instructions?

Note: There are only a few cases where you should consider having a version of this video without the “ask”.   One is when you are showing the video in an event or setting where a live person could deliver a heartfelt challenge.   The other is when the nature of the request would drastically shorten the usability of the video (“Please make a 2017 Year End Gift”).   This is easily remedied by having two versions of the video done with different endings.

Contact an Auxano Navigator to learn more about developing a generosity culture in your church.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Resourcing >

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.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

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.