Church Capital Campaign Fundamentals
The two pillars of a spiritually and financially successful church capital campaign are the Word of God and best practices.
The ultimate goal of the church capital campaign is to stir the hearts of God’s people for God’s work. The Word of God can inspire and motivate people in the spiritual realm. In the capital campaign, we need to address not only the spiritual side, but also the intellectual and emotional as well. The Word is eternal and unchanging; how we communicate these truths to inform and inspire is a matter of adapting best practices to the unique culture and situation in your church.
The two most common strategic mistakes churches make in their capital campaigns are underestimating the complexity and difficulty involved in doing it well (doing it poorly is easy), and how much time it requires to do well in order that you make the biggest spiritual impact leading to the greatest financial response.
Timing A Church Capital Campaign
When contemplating a church building program, the church must not overlook two important timing factors. First, that time is your friend in a capital campaign. Too many churches rush their campaigns and thereby greatly diminish both the spiritual and financial impact of the campaign. Your church should begin to prepare for a campaign at least 6 months in advance of the kickoff. For more information on this important consideration, follow this link to our Time Is Your Friend article.
The other consideration is when to actually run your campaign. For most churches, the public phase, one of four phases of the campaign, will typically happen either in the spring or the fall. In the spring, the church capital campaign should typically conclude before school gets out for the summer. In the fall, the church’s capital campaign will start after school is back in session, concluding before the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.
The Biblical Basis For The Church’s Capital Campaign
I’ve written in more detail on the biblical basis of the church capital campaign, but suffice to say that the only way to achieve giving that is sacrificial, done with the right heart, and is pleasing and acceptable to God is through biblical exhortation. Unfortunately we cannot just point out a few scriptures and people just “get it.” If only ministry were that easy!
From the very first church capital campaign, as related in Exodus 35, God’s people have always given freewill offerings above and beyond their current level of giving for building, expanding, or repairing worship facilities. How we communicate these biblical truths in an effective manner falls to the best practices that churches have learned over tens of thousands of building programs. Sadly, many church leaders have found out the hard way that a capital campaign is not as easy as it seems.
Church Building Campaign
Raising money for a church building campaign is typically less difficult than a debt retirement campaign. A church building campaign provides a vision that is much easier to get people excited about than say, debt retirement. Don’t be fooled, less difficult does not mean easy. It’s still a lot of work to motivate people to give significantly, even for a new building. A new building also presents a challenge in that you can fall into the trap of being more focused on raising money for the building instead of accomplishing the mission of the church. Yes, you are raising money so that you can build, but you are building so that you can reach more people for Christ. It’s not about money, it’s about mission; it’s not about the building, it’s about people, and their salvation and sanctification.
Capital Campaign to Retire Church Debt
A church capital campaign to retire debt is even more difficult to execute well than a capital campaign to build a church. A debt retirement campaign, while more difficult, I believe offers a unique opportunity to focus the church on mission and vision without something so material as a new building getting in the way. A debt retirement campaign must be the microvision of a much larger and Kingdom-focused macrovision. Crafting and communicating that vision and then effectively weaving it into a church capital campaign is challenging at best, but hugely rewarding when done correctly.
Abundant Giving – A Biblical, Flexible, and Effective Church Capital Campaign
A careful review of the header at the top of every page of this website tells the theology of the capital campaign. It also points the reader to the source of the program name, the passage in Chapter 9 of II Corinthians. A church capital campaign consultant combines the wisdom of scripture with proven best practices, using our experience and God-given talents to adapt those best practices to the culture and needs of your church.
As our testimonials show, we can help you lead your church in a capital campaign that is honoring to God, respectful of the congregation, and effective in both spiritual and financial impact. To discuss how this might work out in your church, use our contact form to have someone arrange to answer your questions and discuss how this might work out in your church.