Jack and Suzy Welch have a new book out entitled, “The Real-Life MBA,” that focuses upon two twin pillars for success, truth and trust. I recently heard them interviewed and Welch who knows a few things about how to be successful talked about the importance of these two aspects. He stated that truth and trust are becoming rarer in our society and as a result our success is diminished.
Truth and trust are imperative for you as you think about a potential capital campaign. You cannot have one without the other. Trust is built from being truthful. If you fudge on the truth you destroy trust. More capital campaigns are ruined by a failure of truth and trust than perhaps any other factor. Let me share two ways this works.
Stewardship firms often will tell you what you want to hear not what you need to hear. Am I saying they lie? Not exactly but they do always paint for you the best case scenario. They are giving you a sales answer and a sales answer is not always the truthful answer. What resulted of years of lies and deception was a lack of trust among many churches when it came to contracting with firms. My prayer is that is changing. Yet still today I run up against competitors that tell a church anything to get the contract. It is time my industry comes clean and realizes that our focus is about helping churches not simply making money.
So why would that impact your church? You take the advice of the “experts” and then attempt to “sell” your church on the project. It is not that you are lying. You naturally hope for the best case scenario and present that. Yet often results are not the same as the stewardship firm promised. Now you face answering to your congregation why you gave them mis-leading information. Their trust in your ability to lead is diminished.
At The Charis Group we would rather tell you the truth and lose your business but gain your trust. Last year I had to tell what would have been our largest paying contract that their church was not ready for a capital campaign. How did we know? We spent time talking to their leaders especially their giving leaders. We recommended delaying the campaign until the fall of 2015. The Elders agreed and began working to repair the bridges that had been burned and to get their church ready for the future. The called the other day to say they still had work to do. They reached out to my Director of Marketing, Tom Holloway and said in part…
I wish I had more positive news but I’m being as candid as the current information I have will allow me to be. If you’d like to check back this fall, September, October, I’d be glad to talk with either you or Mark! Please give Mark my greeting. I have the highest regard for him and his integrity. I trust all is well with Charis Group and I hope we can work with you at some point in the not too distant future!!
What should have been a fall campaign now has moved into 2016. My revenue for 2015 just cried, Ouch! Yet God provides for The Charis Group and for me. I would rather have an email like this than their money! Our truthfulness has won us their trust! Make sure you have a similar partner for your next capital campaign.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Do you need help meeting budget this summer? Are you already behind in giving and worried that your summer will not be fully funded? My manual, “The Fully Funded Summer,” will give you all the tools you need to successfully make budget this summer. I have written offering talks for every week of the summer plus sample letters and emails. Get started NOW towards putting together your plan to fully fund your summer. To get your copy go to http://thestewardshipcoach.org/store/