The apprehension surrounding a capital campaign is a sentiment shared by numerous pastors. Indeed, even with multiple campuses and a weekend attendance numbering in the thousands, Pastor Phillip Lee echoes these sentiments. He even humorously remarks that he’d rather poke himself in the eye with a sharp stick than deal with a capital campaign.
His candid words, with a touch of humor, likely resonate with many. It’s possible that some of you have deliberately sidestepped the prospect of running a campaign due to such sentiments. While Pastor Lee doesn’t underestimate the weight of this endeavor, he’s gleaned valuable insights that have propelled him toward creating a thriving ministry.
These lessons encapsulate the notion that, although capital campaigns might appear daunting, they can also be transformative opportunities for growth and progress. Through his experiences, Pastor Lee has illuminated the path to navigating these campaigns with wisdom and efficacy.
1. Realize That Money Will Always Be an Emotional Issue
The wisdom in Jesus’ words, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” holds profound truth, notes Pastor Lee. Money, in its unique capacity, evokes strong emotional responses within us. In addition to this, Pastor Lee underscores a challenge that pastors often encounter – contending with a prevalent negative stigma associated with the ministry. Put simply, people don’t like talking money in church.
Pastor Lee remarks, “There’s a perception, especially among those who are ‘un-churched’ or outside the ministry, that pastors and churches are solely fixated on financial contributions. The notion is that all they’re after is my money.” Navigating through this complex landscape requires a nuanced approach. Pastor Lee suggests that transparency and candor play pivotal roles. Acknowledging the emotional weight of money right from the outset and approaching conversations and teachings in that light fosters an atmosphere of authenticity.
This approach dismantles potential barriers and fosters genuine engagement. Pastor Lee’s perspective illuminates the transformative power of fostering open dialogue around financial matters. By addressing these perceptions head-on, pastors can reshape the narrative. They can demonstrate the church’s genuine commitment to its congregants’ well-being beyond financial considerations.
2. People Care More About Vision Than Need
Are you merely addressing a need? Is the sole focus on the basic operational requirements? Is the conversation revolving solely around the ministry’s necessities? Pastor Lee emphasizes that this isn’t very inspiring. Church attendees already juggle a plethora of genuine needs in their lives. These include homeowners’ association dues, bills, tuition, and more.
If the church’s requirements are simply perceived as another item on the list, they risk being relegated to a mundane category. Pastor Lee advocates for a different approach, one that sparks engagement and enthusiasm. He advises that reframing the narrative is essential. When the church becomes just another financial demand, it loses its unique significance. Instead, Pastor Lee underscores the importance of reshaping the discourse.
For instance, during a capital campaign for launching new campuses, his ministry emphasized the vision of reaching individuals in locations that would otherwise remain beyond their grasp. They painted a vivid vision. By centering conversations around an inspiring vision, the church transcends being a mere financial obligation. Thus, it transforms into a vital force for positive change.
This strategy invites congregants to partake in something larger than themselves, forging a deeper connection with the church’s mission and fostering a stronger commitment to its growth.
3. Major Capital Campaign Issues Rarely Relate to Generosity
The third and final aspect revolves around the reasons behind people’s reluctance to give. Pastor Lee highlights that while the prevailing assumption often attributes it to a lack of generosity, he approaches this issue from a different angle.
“We came to realize that the root wasn’t a lack of generosity among our congregation. Our community is actually comprised of some of the most magnanimous and giving individuals. However, the challenge lay in the fact that seventy percent of Americans are trapped in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. This leaves them with virtually no financial wiggle room. Their commitments are tied up with credit card companies, mortgage payments, car loans, and various obligations.”
In light of this, encouraging church donations sometimes necessitates an initial investment from the church itself. Pastor Lee advocates for a proactive approach, where the church invests in its members to foster healthy financial habits and practices. This strategic investment reaps significant benefits in terms of giving capacity.
He explains that by equipping individuals with tools to manage their finances, you liberate them from the constraints of debt payments. This newfound financial freedom empowers them to give generously to the church, unburdened by the weight of financial obligations. Ultimately, a church that invests in its people’s financial well-being not only cultivates a culture of generosity but also sets the stage for meaningful contributions that have a lasting impact.
Make Your Capital Campaign a Success
Achieving success in a capital campaign can be pursued through various avenues. However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that in the absence of a well-defined giving strategy, any progress made could merely serve as a temporary fix—a mere Band-Aid solution.
Capital campaigns require a holistic and meticulously planned approach that extends beyond mere fundraising. A focused giving strategy serves as the backbone of the entire endeavor, guiding the campaign toward sustained and impactful outcomes.
It’s not enough to merely rally support or accumulate funds. The strategy must encompass a comprehensive understanding of the community’s dynamics, its financial capacities, and its emotional engagement. At DonorWerx, our giving experts are here to help you create a strategy that caters to the unique needs of your ministry.
Schedule a Discovery Call today to learn more.