Without a seasoned veteran to help a pastor with the setup of a capital campaign a church could experience the danger of a pre-mature launch. This is one of the major reasons why you want to have your campaign partner on board months before your campaign actually starts. Most mistakes in a campaign are made months before the kickoff of a campaign. Some mistakes are easy to correct but others deal a death blow to a campaign.
What exactly do I mean when I talk of a pre-mature launch? It runs the gamut but it typically means that a pastor or leader starts sharing information too early. Even more damaging is when they make promises based upon unrealistic expectations, incomplete information or misinformation. As I always say, “Church members have memories like elephants when it serves their purpose!” How many times have you heard, “But pastor, you said…?” So, be careful what you say and what you promise.
One of the biggest reasons for pre-mature launches is that too many leaders think they can do it alone. One of my newest team members has been a long time pastor. We are together working with a pastor about potentially helping him with a capital campaign this fall. For a fall campaign we begin the planning process in early spring. The pastor recently wrote,
“I will be meeting for the first time soon with the team that steps forward to help raise the funds. I would like to cast the vision and talk about the two options: raise the money on our own or having you as our coach. After their response, I’ll know how much work I have ahead of me.”
The “team” that he is referring to is his top twenty donors to his operating budget. He is already going to cast a vision, even though it is unclear, AND ask them for their support AND ask if they want to help him run the campaign on their own.
Here is what my new team member wrote this pastor…
So, as you begin the planning process, here are some thoughts:
1. Probably 90% of all congregations or more will instinctively say, “We can do it ourselves,” not because they have the expertise or experience in doing something this large, but because they want to save money. I understand that.
2. Such a large goal, in my own experience, typically takes extraordinary leadership and challenge, or a church saves some upfront fees and falls short of the ultimate goal.
3. If you as a pastor don’t see the value/need of coaching and an expert plan, they won’t feel the need, either, and will assume that you know how to do it, and you have a plan to get it done. If you say, “I need a coach. I need a team like this,” it will get their attention.
4. If they make a decision to “do it ourselves,” that will typically leaves most of it in your hands for design, implementation, overall planning, as well as your main role as vision-caster and inspirer!
5. The longer it takes for us to get off the ground, the more it will likely delay the funding piece we need, as well as the construction before winter.
This is the kind of advice and help you get from seasoned stewardship coaches! We have years of pastoral experience in leading leaders. We know the process of decision making. We have run successful campaigns in our own churches as well as helping multiple other churches raise millions of dollars. Why would you not get help?
A pre-mature launch can cause great setbacks to your campaign. We can help you avoid that! Contact us today to find out how.
Mark Brooks The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions