Every Building Campaign raises important questions that have to be resolved by the senior leadership team of a church. It’s important that you take the time to wrestle these concerns and questions to the ground before you begin the public rollout of the campaign.
1. How much money are we willing to borrow?
Most leaders have strong opinions about this question and, interestingly, will make their case on the basis of faith regardless of their position. Some will say, “We should raise all the cash up front—let’s just trust God to provide.” Others will say, “We should build and borrow as much as we can—let’s just trust God to provide.” Regardless of your perspective, the church’s leadership needs to decide what you’re comfortable with and be able to articulate how and why you got there.
2. How much money are we trying to raise? Over what time period?
It’s crucial to determine how much money you feel comfortable raising and how long you feel comfortable raising money.
3. What will the Campaign budget be?
It takes money to raise money. How much will you allocate to the Campaign side of the project? Costs may include printing, postage, graphic design, other creative elements, or paying a Campaign Team Leader.
4. Will we accept pledges?
Once again, opinions vary on this question. How you choose to track and follow up with the pledges is also an important consideration.
5. Will we initiate special meetings with higher-capacity or more committed givers?
Campaigns where the Lead Pastor or other key church leaders meet with high-capacity givers do generate more money. Similarly, some Campaign strategists recommend having small group or one-on-one meetings with those who have given the most to the general fund. Both of these practices make some church leaders uncomfortable. Your team needs to figure out your comfort level.
6. Who will know who gives what?
Will the overall giving records be available to the Lead Pastor, staff members or other Campaign leaders? There are good reasons on both sides of the argument. You need to decide what you’re comfortable with.
7. What kinds of fundraising tools are we not comfortable using?
As soon as you begin to raise money, you’ll get people asking if they can utilize bake sales, car washes, dinners or other common fundraising ideas to raise money. You need to determine what you are and are not comfortable with.
8. How will the Campaign end?
You need to determine what will mark the end of the Campaign. Will it be a specific date? A certain dollar amount? What if you hit the date and the goal has not been reached? All of these kinds of questions need to be resolved.
9. How involved will people/members be in the decision making process?
For churches with higher congregational involvement written into their by-laws, this question may be answered more easily. For others, the leaders need to determine how much input church members will have and on what. Will you use focus groups to shape the design of the building? Will you vote on certain things? Will you simply make decisions with a small group and inform people?
10. How involved will the Lead Pastor be in raising money?
The Lead Pastor is crucial to the overall Campaign. But it needs to be determined which people he should meet with, which meetings he must attend, what information he has to distribute, and what things can effectively be led by others. A key question to ask is, “Does this information/vision/request need to be heard or does it need to be heard from the Lead Pastor?”
This is a guest post from my friend Luke Simmons who serves as the Lead Pastor at Redemption Gateway a growing multi-congregational church in Arizona. You can keep up with Luke on his blog here.