As we discussed in our last blog, a variety of opinions and viewpoints can be very helpful when approaching something as important to your church’s future as a stewardship campaign. Here’s more from our roundtable discussion with stewardship consultant, Mark Brooks, the Founding Partner and President of The Charis Group. Mr. Brooks shares his perspective on how churches can hold successful church building stewardship campaigns, even in these difficult economic times.
Getting a Jump Start on the Stewardship Campaign Process
Mr. Brooks makes it very clear that churches should begin their fundraising process as soon as possible, because the funding portion of church building projects is more complex than it used to be. There are two reasons for this. The first was mentioned in Part I: Church members lack confidence in the economy, and their personal financial futures, which has led to a significant decrease in pledging. The second reason is that lending is much tighter these days. Both of these issues mean that churches need to be prepared to answer more, and more specific, questions than they have in the past. Churches also need to give the church community lots of time to get their minds around the vision, and the necessity for spending money on the project.
This means that churches should not wait to complete other parts of the church building or remodeling process before getting its attendees engaged. Unlike a sermon, which needs an orderly progression from point A to point B before introducing point C, churches should use a multi-pronged approach, addressing points A, B and C simultaneously so that the funding is in place when it is needed.
Setting Realistic Expectations for Church Building Projects
The biggest reason that churches are unable to successfully complete a stewardship campaign, according to Mr. Brooks, is that their leaders set unrealistic expectations of what is possible. It is critical that one church doesn’t compare itself to what another church has accomplished, especially if that project was completed prior to 2008, when the current recession started. Instead of assuming that your church can do what another did, take the time to assess your own church members’ enthusiasm and their views about the vision for your church and its new or remodeled building.
Are you finding these roundtable discussions helpful? Let us know! To learn more about this and other issues involved in any successful church building project from our i3 webinars. Look for the 2015 webinar schedule in December.