Here are two facts about your next project, it will take longer than you think and cost you more than you like. I tell my clients that all the time. They listen to me but I fear my advice goes in one ear and out the other.
Recently a client pastor emailed to say,“Surprise, Surprise! We got the final number from our builder last night. It’s just over $1.7…” That pastor had told me days earlier that the project was set to cost $1.3 million. Fixtures, furnishing and equipment, FF&E, were to be at $200K taking up the remainder of their pre-approved $1.5 million dollar loan. What good is a building if you don’t have the FF&E to support it? Now what do they do?
“This may push back our campaign schedule,” was what the pastor wrote me. So, their building, a building they needed yesterday, is going to cost them more money and take more time. They now have to go to the foundation that loaned them the money and ask for more.
What would you do? One of the first things this pastor did was email me for advice on what to do. Do you have a partner to turn to when you are faced with similar situations?
I hear all the time from churches that they can do their own campaigns. In many instances I agree with you if what you mean by the campaign is putting various teams together. That is not the value of a capital campaign company. The value of engaging a company is the expertise of a consultant that has trod successfully through the mine fields of project development.
I responded immediately to the pastor above that now faced the danger of the churches project being derailed. It was a Friday and frankly I was spending time with my wife but a pastor needed immediate help and advice. I quickly fired off my view, told the pastor that though we might indeed need to push our schedule back I felt sure we could still hit our target. I told the pastor basically not to let the news ruin the weekend of worship and that we would fix this problem. I wasn’t just offering pie in the sky. It is fixable. What this pastor needed was assurance especially moving into Sunday’s worship.
Projects are complicated often messy things that unless they are handled carefully can blow up in you face. I liken it to walking through a mine field. You had better know where the land mines are or you will blow off a leg. Sure you can put together a campaign using anyone’s manual. Can you anticipate the potential problems ahead of you? When they arise do you know how to deal with them in a way that doesn’t derail your dreams?
Our consultants have been there and done that! Everyone one of our consultants started as pastors. We faced what you face in leading our churches to build. Then as stewardship consultants we have been in every kind of situation imaginable. That experience is used by our clients allowing them to avoid mistakes that could indeed blow up the project and ultimately set back the churches vision.
Some aspects of project development you can do yourself. There are other factors where you had better have a coach. Who coaches you?
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions