September 14, 2016 Brian Dodd

The Defining Moment Of A Capital Campaign

When I look back at my own personal journey, I am often reminded how confused people are about the defining moment of a capital campaign.

Many pastors think it is the public launch of the campaign sermon series.  This is a significant moment. But, it is not the defining moment.  What about the Commitment Event at the conclusion of the message series?  This is when people bring their pledges or intentions for the church’s future as a measurable expression of what God has done in their hearts.  That is also a very significant moment. But, it is not the defining moment.

The year 2002 was when my wife and I experienced the most difficult financial stretch of our marriage.  Money was running out.  Things were tense.  Hope was being lost.  I was 90 days away from doing the one thing every young husband and father fears more than anything else – asking my father-in-law to move into his basement.

It was during this time my wife sat me down at our kitchen table and said, “Honey, we have always heard you cannot out-give God.  I want to ask if we can raise our giving from 10% to 15% and give the extra money to Precept Ministries because we need a miracle.”

With all the spiritual maturity I could muster, I said, “Well, when you’re this far in the hole, what’s the difference between 10% and 15%?”  So at my wife’s urging and with little to no money, we significantly increased our level of giving.  

Less than one month later, I landed my dream job with INJOY Stewardship Solutions where I still am today.  For the last 14 years I have spent practically every day of my life telling pastors and church leaders about the joy that comes when you trust God with sacrificial giving.

When I look back at my own personal journey, I am often reminded how confused people are about the defining moment of a capital campaign.

Many pastors think it is the public launch of the campaign sermon series.  This is a significant moment. But, it is not the defining moment.  What about the Commitment Event at the conclusion of the message series?  This is when people bring their pledges or intentions for the church’s future as a measurable expression of what God has done in their hearts.  That is also a very significant moment. But, it is not the defining moment.

Others think it is when the permitting process is approved or ground is broken.  These are without a doubt significant moments in a campaign, but neither are defining moments.  Then it has to be when you finally get into your building, or burn your bank note?  These are also significant moments, but not the defining moments.

So if it is not any of these significant events, then what is the defining moment of a capital campaign?

The defining moment of a vision-driven capital campaign is the kitchen table.

Just like my wife and I, it is at the kitchen table where a family (or single person with God) sits down and has this following type of conversation:

“Honey, the church is getting ready to build a new children’s wing.  The pastor has been asking us for several weeks to pray about our level of financial support for it.  What has God been saying to you?”

Then with open hearts, open bibles, and open budgets, the family wrestles with God about their level of commitment.  Even though calculators and budgets are involved, this conversation is about transformation, not transaction.  This is the spiritual journey of the campaign – when a family decides to trust God at a level they never have before and then watches Him provide.

That kitchen table moment, multiplied over and over again in your church, is the campaign’s defining moment.  Your Commitment Event just collectively makes it official.  As a pastor, your goal in a campaign should be to drive as many people as possible in your church to kitchen table conversations and decisions.  


If you have an upcoming need to raise capital, please join me on Thursday, September 29th as I will be hosting a FREE online interactive teaching session entitled 7 Keys to Outstanding Spring Capital Campaigns.  

capital-campaign-church-money

Sign up today by clicking HERE.  No single hour will better prepare you to fully-fund your church’s future than this one.  I look forward to connecting with you.  It would be an honor to invest in your leadership.

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Brian Dodd

Brian is the Director of New Ministry Relationships for Injoy Stewardship Solutions who helps churches fully-fund their mission and vision. During the last 14+ years, he has spent each day having one-on-one conversations with many of the greatest church leaders in America. Brian also has 30 years of church volunteer and staff experience.
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