There is no compelling reason to hire a church capital campaign consultant unless you are interested in:
Raising more money
Making a greater spiritual impact
Not having to reinvent the wheel
Reducing stress, time, and effort
Avoiding the risk & consequences of a failed capital campaign
The simple answer is that history shows your church will raise more money using a church capital campaign consultant.
Figuring out for yourself how to execute a church capital campaign might work if:
You are diligent and very disciplined
You have a few months of spare time
You are more than just a little bit lucky
Whether you do it well, is another matter
A capital campaign is part science and part art. Much like learning to fly, you can’t learn it all from a book, you only learn to do it correctly by experience.
One of the biggest challenges is that even if you were to learn, discover or intuit the right steps, the human tendency is to eliminate, bypass or downplay the parts of the campaign that you don’t understand, are not comfortable with, or for which you don’t understand the importance. For these and a variety of other reasons, churches that do it themselves cheat themselves out of financial and spiritual results.
A Church Capital Campaign Consultant Will Help You Raise More Money Than By Doing It Yourself
As a general rule, churches who try a do-it -yourself capital campaign typically only raise 50% of the amount raised by churches who hire a professional capital campaign consultant. In a capital campaign, like many other things, you must discover all the right steps to take, execute those steps in the correct order, and do it right the first time. At the end of the day, it will not cost you anything to receive the advantage of proper process, godly counsel and coaching, and the “bits and pieces” that go into a successful (as opposed to the other kind) church capital campaign.
This is too important and too complex of a process not to do properly. You really cannot afford not to get professional help from an experienced campaign consultant. For more details, see our related post on “Are Consulting Fees Really Worth It,” or download our PowerPoint slideshow presentation “Why Hire a Capital Campaign Consultant“.
A Church Capital Campaign Consultant Will Save You Time and Effort
An experienced campaign consultant will help your church organize and equip the team more quickly and effectively. The alternative is for someone on staff to try to figure it all out, learn how to lead the campaign and then recruit, train, and support the team. Most of the pastoral staff that I know already have far more to do than they have time in which to do it. Do you really have the extra staff, the free time, the critical skills, and spiritual gifting to do this well, and to do it well the first try? Sadly, they don’t teach anything about raising money in seminary or Bible college, there is only one way to get this knowledge, and that is by experience. If you don’t have it – get it.
“A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” Proverbs 1:5 “For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 24:6“The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15“How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.” Proverbs 3:13
How to Get Maximum Results from Your Consultant
Once you’ve selected the right stewardship consultant, how can you work with him or her to get the best possible results? Your consultant needs four gifts from you.
Check him out carefully, then trust him. You engaged his services because you aren’t an expert in stewardship development, he is. Don’t view every suggestion with immediate suspicion. Give him the benefit of the doubt and listen with an open mind.
I’ve consulted with pastors who wouldn’t return my phone calls or e-mails. I’ve also talked with pastors who did all the talking in every conversation. This is very good at the beginning, when I am interviewing them to understand their church’s unique culture and special needs. This is very bad during the implementation stage, when I need to advise them on strategy for an upcoming meeting or sermon. Make sure you stay in close touch with your consultant by returning her phone calls and emails promptly.
Any stewardship consultant worth his salt is going to ask you to step outside your comfort zone and do things that are, frankly, scary. He will ask you to take steps you haven’t taken before (or you wouldn’t need him now). Be strong and of good courage. The Lord has promised to be with you wherever you go. When you boldly lead your people to biblical giving, they will joyfully respond—really! For more encouragement, check out what happened to these biblical stewardship leaders: Moses (Ex. 35:4–9, 20–24; 36:4–7); King David (1 Chron. 29:5–9); King Joash (2 Chron. 24:8–10); King Hezekiah (2 Chron. 31:3–10); Nehemiah (Neh. 13:10–12); and the prophet Haggai (Hag. 1:1–15).
When a pastor and church board first enter into a church capital campaign, they are terribly vulnerable to the temptation to edit the consultant’s program. They will want to skip asking for pledges because they fear people will be offended; they will try to cut out public stewardship testimonies because it “unduly exalts people”; they will leave out the mailings because they want to save money on postage; and on and on.
One church that used my annual stewardship program only implemented four of the ten steps because six of them made them too uncomfortable. Their giving only increased 21 percent(!), when other churches using the same program saw 39, 41, and 57 percent increases.
For best results, follow every jot and tittle of your consultant’s advice—especially the parts that make you the most uncomfortable. They are probably the very parts that you most need. I tell pastors, “The program will work, if you will work the program.”
I believe it is God’s will that every church reach its full giving potential. The secret is following the wise, biblical counsel of a godly stewardship consultant. If you select yours carefully, and work with him cooperatively, God will greatly bless your church’s finances.
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