As we discussed last time, every capital campaign needs to address five basic leadership questions.
- What are we doing?
- Why are we doing it?
- Why are we doing it now?
- How will this be possible?
- What do you need me to do?
The first two questions are fairly obvious and, as previously discussed, need to be addressed on both the literal and mission levels. They are commonly asked. The question we are looking at this time however is the question that almost never gets asked but must be answered if the people are going to give sacrificially.
Why are we doing it now?
If you talk to the people in your church the vast majority will tell you that they are all for the project your capital campaign is intended to fund. They will also tell you that intend to support it financially. What they likely won’t tell you is that somewhere deep in their sub-conscious a voice is telling them that while the project is a good idea, the timing is all wrong. Next year the economy will improve; gas prices will be down and employment will be up. Next year would definitely be a better time to do this. We’ll participate more next year. The problem is that next year is a long way away and when it gets here it comes with problems of its own. In order to maximize response you need to explain more than why we are doing this. You need to explain why we are doing this now.
Sometimes it’s easy; you need to replace the boiler before winter and it makes economic sense to do the remodel at the same time. Other times the urgency is not so self-evident. As I write this I am coaching a church that has met in a small rented community center for almost a decade. During nine of those years they have owned some twenty acres of prime real estate nearby. Although the lack of a permanent facility is clearly limiting their ministry it is the only home that many in the church have ever known. They want to know why this needs to be done now. What’s changed?
It might be a God-given opportunity; a facility becomes unexpectedly available. It might me the next step in a long-term expansion plan. It may be that God is convicting your church to take a next step in faith. Whatever the reason is, failing to answer this question will seriously curtail the response of the congregation. Conversely, answering this question helps to motivate people to earnestly seek God’s will for their participation in the process. Understanding that this is what we are doing, why we are doing it and why we are doing it now prepares their hearts to respond joyfully and sacrificially. Of all of the questions asked or unasked, only after answering this question will people give at their maximum God given potential.
For more information about successful capital campaigns contact Alan Morrison at Midwest Church Design and Construction.