Church Campaigns- Need advice

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by intojesus, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. intojesus

    intojesus
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    I need some advice. Our church has started a building campaign. My husband and I were requited to be a major part of it. At first we were very excited but now it has begun to feel more like a gimmick. It feels like we think we need to do all these steps in order for God to bless us. This campaign also is costing near 100, 000 and I find that hard to swallow. It includes a fancy dinner at a hotel for the directors of the campaign that will cost almost 5,000. There are mailings and newsletters and so many other things. I am so confused right now. This campaign has stolen my joy for even going to church. Please tell me if your church has ever been involved in one and what your feelings are about church building campaigns. If you have been involved in one, I would love to hear about it. I want to keep an open heart about this. My desire is to serve the Lord. I am just very confused. Thanks.

     
  2. gb93433

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    I am with you. God is not the author of confusion.

    The first question I would ask is who is heading this thing up? If it is a God sized deal then enticements are not necessary. The Holy Spirit will work in mighty ways if he wants it.

    I used to work for a man who I have known to write more than 100,000 dollar checks to help people and churches in need. I know he would have been turned off by a campaign. I know of one time that he wroite a check to a missionary for 100,000 dollars so they could renovate a building in Romania.

    A lot of churches are unwilling to trust God and leave the bill to Him.

    I find it hard to believe that a church would put up a lavish dinner for such a thing. 100 thousand dollars is not alot of money nowadays for a church to raise. But 5% of the needed money for a fancy dinner is not necessary.

    God will supply all your needs and the church's needs.
     
  3. intojesus

    intojesus
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    Well we our a large church trying to raise 2 million dollars for another building. The campaign is going to cost about 100,000 dollars. The dinner is to thank the campaign members for their time. I myself don't feel the dinner is right.I love my church but just am confused right now. I guess this man was hired to come in and construct our campaign. This is what he does for a living. Our Pastor hired him to come in and lead this campaign for a new building. I myself felt like...Why can't we just let the church know of the need and trust God to burden their hearts. This campaign feels really gimmicky. Certain leaders give testimony to what they are going to sacrifice so thers will follow their lead. There are mailings and newletters. I truly believe in giving. Our church consists of about 780 members. Sadly only about 10 percent serve in ministry. We recently had a prayer vigil(it was part of the campaign)...it went on for 24 hours. We were to give our prayer requests and they asked the church to give up one hour to come in and pray. Only 70 people showed up out of the 700 plus members. We can't get people to serve in Sunday school either. It seems to me giving should not only be money but also your time. But this campaign feels really funny to me. Almost like we are attempting to manipulate. Has anyone out there been in a building campaign????
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    sounds like your church has hired someone to help out, this is fairly routine methodology in the capital stewardship areana.



    I used to work in the industry and you're going through what a lot of faithful parishioners go through. My suggestion is if you're really feeling that this is getting in the way of our faithfulness to the church in general quietly step out for a bit and spend some time in prayer. See where God leads you, and don't be pressured by anyone to move in a particular direction.

    These campaigns usually focus on a lot of whiz bang "let's all buy into the vision" kind of pep rallies. I suggest you stay away from events like this and see what God wants your family to do in this regard. 100k isn't that big of a figure, but if it is pastor decided and not God led it probably isn't something to be giving your monies to. Just my opinion though...too many pastors are pressuring their people for "sacrificial giving" because of pulpit envy (yes the double entendre is supposed to be present there)

    thanks for being transparent :thumbs:
     
  5. annsni

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    I'm not fully understanding this at all. LOL - It could be that it's late tonight and I've been doing lots of research on a topic that's intense so ......

    But I'll tell you about our church. We're building a new addition to our church that's going to add about 2/3 more room to the building. It's going to give us much needed office space (we have 7 offices for 9 pastors and a staff of 42), an elevator (we have a very large disabled contingent in the congregation and they have no place to meet for Sunday School except in the lobby), more classrooms (we are packed out for Sunday School and VBS) and extra storage - since we took up all of the storage that we had to make classrooms. Anyway, the total project will cost $1.5 million dollars. We've so far raised $1.3 million with no campaigns, no gimics, no 'drives' or anything. The only 'drive' we're doing now is the "Extreme Makeover- Church Addition" - we're at the point of doing insulating, sheetrocking, flooring, painting and other things that are not high skill jobs so every other Friday morning starting at 8 AM and working through to midnight Saturday night, our congregation is doing all of the work. We WILL hire a company to do spackling but otherwise, it's all us. One of our pastors was in construction so he's the GC for the whole project and many of the hired workers were men in our own congregation.

    Now, this whole project has built up the congregation in ways that would be hard to do otherwise. We all have a vested interest in the new building because *I* did the sheetrocking in the lobby, DH did the insulating, and everyone did something. It's also awesome to do this with cash - no loans, no debt. If we don't have the money, then the work stops, plain and simple. We serve a very big God with very big resources. If He can't or won't provide, we won't do it!

    Ann
     
  6. intojesus

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    I hate to sound dumb..But what is pulpit Envy? And I loved hearing about a church that relys on God instead of gimmics. I know a lot of other members involved in the campaign are struggling. But nobody wants to offend leadership. One couple has thought about leaving. I don't want to leave. I serve in Awana and Ladies Bible study. We do need more room but I just hate this campaign. Hate is an awful word to use but its how I feel. I have been praying. I don't want to discuss this with other members because I don't want to sow discord. That is why I am here. I was looking for anyone that has been threw a campaign and its outcome. Is it of God? Are there any examples in the Bible of this?
     
  7. Jack Matthews

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    Our very first building campaign looked like this. We were meeting in a school and had an opportunity to buy a 22 year old church building from a congregation that had declined, aged and was disbanding. The two buildings, a sanctuary with six classrooms in the basement, and a two story educational building with offices, classrooms and a fellowship hall in the basement, needed some repairs, but were in fairly good shape. They wanted $1.4 million as it was, and it needed about $150,000 worth of repair. I thought that we would likely have to borrow the money and pay it back over a two to three year period. We looked a hiring a consultant and doing a capital campaign. The pastor said he just wanted to put the need out there and see how the church responded. In less than two months, $1.7 million was pledged and it was given in large enough amounts for us to avoid paying any interest on the note.

    We added a multi-purpose facility last year. It is basically a metal-constructed building, a gym on a concrete foundation with carpet flooring, air conditioning and insulation (it shows from the inside, but who cares?) and an attached addition with a large meeting room and kitchen. It cost $550,000 and we raised it the same way--here's the need, pledge what the Lord directs. The only thing we paid a contractor to do was pour the foundation and put up the frame. Church members did the rest. A carpet business in the area offered to put the sport carpet down at no charge if we would let them use it as an example of how durable it was.
     
  8. annsni

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    Jack - It sounds like you're pastor is like ours - with a similar vision. If God wants to increase the congregation and the facilities, He's certainly able to do that! Our pastor was just telling me the story today of the first $200,000 that was raised for the current building we're in. This was like 20 years ago and he was set to do some work for the money but God said to just announce it from the pulpit because HE would provide the money through the congregation on Easter Sunday. Pastor didn't say exactly that but just that they'd have a special offering on Easter to get the building started. By Easter Sunday night, they had $220,000 raised! This was in a congregation of less than 600 at the time. Pretty cool what God can do through His people without twisting arms! Pastor even turned down a free Cadillac that a dealership wanted to donate for a raffle or auction. He felt that God wouldnt' get the credit if he did that so he didn't do it.
     
  9. intojesus

    intojesus
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    I really love hearing your stories. Its what I have been feeling all along. This consultant was hired and it feels like its one big form of maniupulating. I want to give you a "For Instance"...as directors we were asked to create a team for each piece of the campaign cabnet. We were told by the hired consulatant that when we asked people to come on board, we were to say, the Pastor told me to ask you. Because when you say that it carries weight. The first time I heard this a red flag went up. When we were asked to be directors we were told..The Pastor told us to ask you. It made me wonder. Also our Pastor has a strong rule about fund raising in our church. It is NOT allowed. We have been on 5 missions trip with youth and other Bible trips and the kids do have to pay quite a bit. We have asked in the past to try to raise fundsto help reduce the cost but we were told no. The kids are only allowed to write letters for support. But isn't a campaign a form of fund raising?
     
  10. El_Guero

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    Ezra and Nehemiah come to mind for biblical examples . . .

    OK - whether or not to use a consultant . . . personally, I don't like them.

    OK - capital campaigns without consultants produce significantly (so they say) less results.

    So in that regard, do you want to build? If the answer is yes, then most churches find out that if they do not have a consultant their opportunity for failure goes up greatly . . .

    Biblical? Not really. Do I like it - not at all.

    :thumbs:
     
  11. Hope of Glory

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    I find the dinner to be the least offensive of the things you have mentioned. For that matter, I see nothing wrong with the dinner at all. But, would it not be more appropriate to have the dinner for the members who are putting up insulation, staining wood, etc.?
     
  12. Joseph M. Smith

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    Early in my recent pastorate we recognized that we had to do major renovation. Our Stewardship Committee prayerfully considered, for a long while, whether to hire a campaign consultant, and did so. He was the least costly of all the proposals we had received, largely because he was local.

    He used all the same procedures that have been mentioned ... groups, dessert functions, dinners, etc. We "cheated" a bit on the dinner .. went to a neighboring church with a large social hall and hired a caterer rather than going to a hotel. But essentially we followed his pattern.

    Several observations and learnings:

    What he led us to do was really nothing more than common sense organizational stuff. Any one of us could have done it. In fact, more recently, when our church began to consider more construction, and we met with a representative of the American Baptist Extension Corporation, he said, "I can give you a book that will tell you how to do it, step by step. But you do need to follow every step."

    The campaign consultant approach was not appropriate for the personality of our church. Our people do not respond well to pressure and push. If I had led the program personally, as I now wish I had, I would not have cornered people into giving, as he tried to do.

    We did raise much of the money we needed to raise, but, on the basis of other incidents here and there over my twenty years at that church, I think we would have done just as well if not better had we avoided the consultant approach and simply "trusted the Lord and told the people", as we used to say in Baptist life.

    The consultant's rhetoric in many cases sailed right past our folks; he had been through this kind of thing so many times that he sort of went on auto-pilot with his speeches, etc., and was not really aware of what they were feeling and asking.

    In the end, after it was all over and we did not have enough to do the project, and so went to the bank to borrow, a couple of our members got concerned about the church having a debt, and those two women got the attention of our people and retired that debt early. I wish now we had "hired" them for the task!

    I certainly like and understand the idea of people doing much of the hands-on work for a church building, but not every church has a pastor capable of general contracting, nor are all the skills necessary going to be present in most congregations. Often local building codes and laws will not permit this sort of do-it-yourself work.
     
  13. intojesus

    intojesus
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    Thanks all for your answers. I had a women call me this morning from our church and said she was so sick to her stomach over this campaign she could not go to church. My husband and I did not attend either due to the fact it was going to be the Pastor and several other couples he had chosen to stand up and say what they were going to sacrifice. We just felt like our hearts were so burdened. Thanks for youir answers. If you know of anyone that has been in a campaign like this I would love to hear about it.
     
  14. Tom Bryant

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    have you talked to your pastor about this?
     
  15. gb93433

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    For ten years I attended a church that was the largest church in town. They had the same pastor for 31 years since it began. The pastor was one who believed in never borrowing any money to build a church building. The church has had three pastors since it began shortly after the depression. Never has one penny of the money the people gave ever gone to interest. The church recently built a huge gymnasium and offices. Again it was paid for at the end of the project. For many years the church owned a conference ground. They gave it away a few years ago because they felt that it could be better maintained if it were separate from the church.

    Years ago I preached at a church that was experiencing some difficulties. The economy had gone down and the land and buildings was not worth near what they owed. If they had waited a few years they could have bought that land and buildings for about 60% of what they did.

    I was pastoring a church that had as low as ten people. They lost everything except ten people. Later God gave them 20 acres of prime ground in one of the best locations on the main street through town. We prayed for people to help us and God gave us people who were already trained who heard about what we were trying to do. When we reached 35 people we had a trained youth man who volunteered his time and a young music leader from a large church whose dad led music and he was a great singer. God gave us much more than we ever thought about. We had a lady who traveled 21 miles to help us who had been with the Billy Graham organization helping them in a foreign country.

    Don't think for one minute God cannot do the impossible. If he can create me with a beating heart and create the universe he certainly can supply every need and more.
     
  16. Andy T.

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    I'm convinced that if Christians gave cheerfully of their income (call it tithing or giving, I don't care) like they should, then very few churches would ever have to do campaigns to beg for more money. When a church needs money it is usually because either (a) the people haven't been giving like they should, or (b) the church has not spent wisely in the past. Most likely it is a combination of the two, but knowing statistics of how little the average Christian gives to his church, it is usually (a).

    So these campaigns are usually band-aids for a deeper problem that the church must face. And they shouldn't need a business consultant to tell them that.
     
  17. Jack Matthews

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    Our church's plan for future growth in our facility is simple. Right now, we run at about 80% of capacity in the sanctuary, and use about 60% of the educational space we have. We will first go to two services, with a Bible study in between. When the Bible study gets to 80% of capacity, we will go to two services and two Bible studies. If and when we max out our facilities at that point, we would be running over 500 in attendance, and we will go to Saturday night. Long range, we will start a new church. That's one of the reasons I am on board with this particular congregation. It isn't about the buildings, grounds and facilities, it is about the ministry. I doubt we will ever build any more buildings.
     
  18. intojesus

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    True True. It has been said that the church is not giving. But somehow I think this camapign is making things worse. I had a member of our church ask me, why the church was spending so much money at a posh hotel to give leadership a fancy dinner. I had no answer. I am putting togther an e-mail to send to our Pastor to let him know our concerns about this campaign the division it is causing and we hope he takes it has a form of love NOT criticism. We love our Pastor.



    Philippians 4:19: "But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
     
  19. annsni

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    See, I can't understand hiring a "consultant" to raise money for what God hopefully wants. I don't think He needs any help. I've seen time and time again with the church and personally that GOD supplies our need and HE gets the glory. If you have a consultant, does ANYONE ever say "Yeah, God!!" or do they look at how much frivilous spending you're doing - on dinners for people and such. I've seen God do way more than that to rob Him of anything.

    Ann
     
  20. deacon jd

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    Amen. This is so true.
     

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