Chapter Three from the Church Capital Campaign Journal

In the previous chapters I briefly discussed how churches can prepare well and campaign well in facilitating healthy capital campaigns.  The information I shared was inspired by what I learned over the last eleven years of consulting and coaching church leaders through capital campaigns.  In this piece, I will move us forward in the direction of the finish line.  How can church campaign leaders focus on finishing well? Let’s discuss three key practices:

  • Choose the finish line.  Throughout your campaign, church community members will respond to clearly defined and communicated goals.  When it comes to pledging, members will also appreciate hearing that all community pledges are asked to be made by a certain date.  Pick the date—the first finish line—and encourage them again and again to make their commitments and help the church finish the campaign.
  • Decide that the finish line is a diving board rather than a brick wall. Campaigns do not end on the day when pledges are due.  They are actually just beginning.  Rather than ceasing campaign communications and the encouragement for members to stretch in their generosity, church leaders will need to step forward and leap into a new normal.  The new normal is the campaign.  The new normal is the two or three year period when the real work of giving begins. Campaigns are not over until the project is done, until the last project dollar has been received.  A finish line is not the finish line until you reach the finish line.
  • Practice Gratitude.  “Giving thanks” is a spiritual discipline essential for capital campaigns. Express thanks to God for His provision of volunteers, leadership, bold asking, storytelling, conversations, and gifts.  At the end of it all, after you have dived into the new normal and run the last lap, be thankful for all God did through everyone and every gift.

After you have prepared your campaign, implemented it, and crossed the finish line, what happens next?  You continue in the way of trust. Trust in the God who is always working and always caring for and building the church.  Continue in the new normal of bold asking, conversational faith, faithful storytelling, and courageous giving.

Continue on. The new normal has only just begun.

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