Timing a Church Capital Campaign

Many churches in the past year have postponed building programs due to economic uncertainty. Even though building may be 1, 2 or even 3 years away, the wise church will be preparing now for a future building program. One of the keys to becoming financially prepared to build is to execute a capital campaign well in advance of building, or even before talking to lenders about borrowing (for more on this subject see my post, The Year of the Church Capital Campaign).

As we enter into the fall, now is the time we are helping equip churches to execute a capital campaign in the 1st quarter of 2010. Now is the time to begin to implement a campaign timeline and strategy, recruit capital campaign committee members, and integrate your campaign into the church’s calendar. There are a number of things the church can do to prepare the way; to prepare the fields and sow some seed that will increase the spiritual and financial effectiveness of your capital campaign next spring.

By the time of this post, most of those churches planning a Christmas play or pageant have already begun to organize and mobilize for this event. If you give 3 months to preparing for the Christmas play (a one-day event), how much more time should you give to preparing for a capital campaign which is much more complex and lasts for 6-7 weeks?

All too often churches underestimate the time and effort that goes into preparing for an effective capital campaign. There are several topics for messages, if not entire sermon series, that should proceed the “actual campaign”. There are scheduling issues that need addressed, recruiting, organization, and equipping that needs to be done before you even begin!

Churches that wait until after the first of the year to begin to move on a spring capital campaign will find themselves pressed for time and having deal with more stress and complications than necessary. The church that does not plan ahead will make this wonderful event a burden, not a joy to the staff and committee members. It will, in all likelihood, end up negatively impacting the spiritual effectiveness and financial benefit of the campaign. The earlier your church begins to prepare for its capital campaign, the more effective the campaign will be, and the least stressful for those involved.