Five “UnCommons” That Will Help You Lead A More Effective Campaign
Tim Avery – President, Kardia Consulting
It’s been my joy for the past 20 years to coach pastors and leaders who are seeking to grow the culture of generosity in their church. Often, that coaching includes a Capital, CompassionFirst, or OneFund Campaign.
Frequently, pastors will ask up front if there are certain qualities that set some campaigns, churches, and results apart from the rest. The answer is a resounding, Yes!”
If you are considering a campaign now or in the future, let me encourage you to have these “UnCommons” in place before you begin:
1. UnCommon Leadership
John Maxwell has rightly stated, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
You would be hard pressed to find anything significant ever accomplished for the glory of God, apart from a leadership strategy being central in the equation. That reality holds true today and applies to churches and campaigns.
a. In campaign planning and preparation, it’s critical that leaders exhibit a spiritual authenticity, reflecting time invested with Jesus and a responsiveness to His leading.
b. Campaigns are an awesome time in church life to enlist and develop non-staff leaders for significant roles of responsibility. Many staff-led churches have thoroughbreds on the team; people tempted to do it all themselves. While I understand the desire for excellence, this is an amazing opportunity to invest in others, deepening your leadership bench for expanded, future ministry. Commit to enlisting and equipping your “A-team” of leaders to share the load as well as the joy of the journey.
2. UnCommon Vision
We’ve repeated Proverbs 29:18 for years, “Without vision, the people perish.” I love the way Eugene Peterson expresses it in The Message; “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”
a. As a pastor, you want your people to be “most blessed,” right? How are they moved to that condition? By attending to what He reveals - paying attention to His vision for the church!
b. When building projects are in play, pastors will tend to use the new building as the “vision for the future.” In reality, the building is not the vision. It is simply a tool, a conduit through which expanded vision to the community, region, nation, and world can flow! You can help people connect their heart and difference-making capacity to God’s preferred future for the church!
3. UnCommon Resolve
In the movie, “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets,” perhaps you recall a scene in the White House with the Resolute Desk. The HMS Resolute served the Royal Navy until 1879 when she was broken up. The British government ordered a desk to be made from the timbers of the ship. The desk was then presented to U.S. President, Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1880 as a gesture of thanks for the rescue and return of Resolute.
Since then, the desk has been used by most U.S. presidents. The desk is well named. It’s strong, firm, steady, and robust. It would take several men to lift and relocate the thing. Its presence is significant.
Resolve could be described as, “Firmly determined; set in purpose or opinion.”
I was with a leadership team recently to begin planning their first-ever campaign. Upon discovering what an effective campaign would entail, some expressed surprise as to the workload required.
As a leader, be sure to count the cost before making the decision to move forward. It will require your very best, so again, spiritual preparation is key. Take heart and be confident in the reality of God, the reliability of God, the resources of God, and the fact that your church is God’s representative to the community and beyond!
As President Eisenhower said years ago, “There are no great victories at bargain basement prices!” Be resolved!
4. UnCommon God-Dependence
At the onset of campaign planning, it’s important to remind ourselves and our team of our dependence upon God to speak to and move in the hearts of His people. It’s easy to get caught up in feeling responsible for all the results. While it IS important to accept ownership of efforts, we do so with the understanding that:
a. We work with excellence, leaving no stone unturned in the process. We know that excellence honors God and inspires people.
b. When our best effort has been applied, we rest in Him, knowing that it’s His church, they are His people, it’s His vision that has been placed in our pathway, and it’s His redemptive mission in the world into which we’ve been invited. He is fully capable and desirous of leading people to a level of commitment that is truly pleasing to Him!
5. UnCommon Perspective
If you’re considering a campaign, you undoubtedly have a need for increased revenue. You either have a ministry campus that needs to be enlarged, new ministries waiting to be birthed, more staff to onboard, or more needs in your community that need to be addressed.
There is no avoiding the fact that the generosity of God’s people is the fuel that funds vision.
At the same time, I will tell you that the most effective campaigns I’ve experienced over the past two decades are those where the primary focus has been on “people raising,” not fund raising!
Will it be nice when the resources are in hand to break ground, announce the launch of the next multi-site, and increase support to ministries that are truly being the hands and feet of Jesus in the world? Absolutely!
However, if that’s your primary aim, you will have missed an incredible opportunity. Campaigns executed from a foundation of biblical generosity, will see people raised to new levels of:
a. Understanding about their role and responsibility as a follower of Jesus
c. Awareness about the church’s ministry
e. Spiritual maturity
f. Community impact
Is there a campaign on your radar? If so, that’s exciting news. Lead with excellence, communicate a compelling vision, be resolved to meet the challenges that will come, trust our Great God, and focus on developing those around you. If you plan well and embrace the “UnCommons,” your church can experience a journey of faith that is unparalleled!
If we can assist you in any way, either campaign or increasing your general fund giving, please let me know. It would be an honor to discuss your situation.