Monday, October 21, 2019 16:01

Now Is a Good Time for a Capital Campaign

iStock_000008812690 Good News

Listen to this quote a friend sent me just days ago: “’The times are bad!  The times are troublesome!’” This is what humans say, but we are our times.  Let us live well and our times will be good.  Such as we are, such are our times.”  Inspiring. Instructive.  Relevant.  All that, and it was spoken by St. Augustine of Hippo who lived over 1500 years ago.

There will always be bad and troublesome times. But the good news is that we can live above our times, and by living higher we lift ourselves and those around us.

When it comes to timing a capital campaign, the same is true.  While we are not unaware of Wall Street, we take our guidance from God. 

Therefore, the best time to do a capital campaign is when you need it.  The key question is not “Is this a good time according to the economy?” but “Do we need a capital campaign now?”  If the answer to the second question is “yes,” then this is a good time.  Don’t worry about the economy or negative forecasters.

Yes, when the stock market is down you may raise a little less.  It’s possible—especially if people are giving from assets affected by the markets.  But who can say for sure what might be?  This I do know: You will raise a whole lot more now than if you don’t do a capital campaign at all.  “Ask, and you shall receive,” Jesus said.  Don’t ask, and see what happens.

To decide if now is the time, leaders must ask questions like:

  • Is God blessing our church with growth?
  • Have we responded creatively to the pressures on our space, and have we done everything we can to meet space needs short of a building campaign? 
  • Do we have momentum behind us? 
  • What counsel are we receiving from seasoned, godly advisors?

Another key question to ask is “What are donors doing in response to the present economic conditions?”  And the answer is, despite an economy that continues to falter, Christians are increasing their giving.  The “State of the Plate” survey reveals 43% of churches saw increased giving in 2010 over 2009.  USA Today’s annual giving survey (released June 2011) shows a very sizeable increase in charitable giving for the quarter ending May 2011.   Overall giving grew 11.3% for that three-month period compared to the same quarter in 2010.

This may or may not be the time for your church to launch a capital campaign.  You will have to decide.  But whatever you do, don’t make the decision based on what’s going on around you in the world.  Make the decision based on what’s going on in your church, what the Holy Spirit is saying to your spirit, and the prayerful deliberation of informed church leaders.

Notice the title of this article is not “Now Is the Perfect Time for a Capital Campaign.”  There is no perfect time—not for a capital campaign—not for anything.  Perfection doesn’t exist, except perhaps in the starry eyes of a groom at the altar.  Ecclesiastes 11:4 warns: “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (TLB).  While the economy makes up its mind which way to go, some growing, healthy churches are moving ahead because they believe now is a good time for a capital campaign.

 Let us know what you think.  How do you go about deciding if this is a good time for a capital campaign? 

(c) Linden Kirby, Excel Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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