Is Your Church Ready For A Building Project? Four areas to consider as you plan.
Ask the Right Questions
After assessing your project options, you are now ready to begin evaluating your church’s readiness. When trying to determine readiness, it is common to begin asking a number of well-intentioned questions, but missing the focus of any project your church should be initiating.
The most common questions at this step are:
- We know we need to do this project but are we ready?
- Can we afford it?
- Is the church on board with this?
The questions should really be re-purposed:
- How does this project enhance our mission?
- How do we best communicate this potential project to the church?
- How do we then go about gauging and garnering churchwide support?
One of the most common questions we have received over the years is “What do unsuccessful building projects and capital campaigns have in common?” Our answer would be vision, or lack thereof. Vision is often not sufficiently communicated due to lack of clarity or a clear explanation by leadership. Most people simply want to know “(1) What are we doing? (2) Why do we need it? (3) What are you asking me to do about it?”. It’s really that simple.
Many times, there is a failure to engage the entire church. A healthy program will engage and challenge the entire church’s input, support and participation. Sometimes the project size may appear to be too big. Leadership must do a complete and absolute job of communicating their financial plan to show how it is not only fiscally feasible but a sound investment in the future.
What happens when the project does not meet congregational expectations? Sometimes there are multiple projects needed and leadership selects the wrong project without doing any feasibility studies to gain congregational buy in for the various options.
All of these factors should be considered as leadership shares short term and long term plans with their people.
When a church moves forward too quickly without first properly addressing certain issues the results can be disastrous. This is where a vision can die. Why? Because the “ready, fire, aim” approach will get you every time. That is why it is so important to talk with a stewardship consultant very early in the process. A trained stewardship consultant can help you fully explore, develop, and articulate a vision that is based on the ministry needs of the church. It is never a good idea to leave your church families in the dust and pursue a vision they will not support. On the flip side, dragging out the process can kill the momentum and slowly drain a thriving ministry opportunity. “Analysis paralysis” occurs where any decision-making is double guessed and the fear of moving too fast can screech any momentum to a grinding halt when there is real enthusiasm for a project. A trusted, experienced partner can help you navigate these areas and think through the process in a logical and methodical way.
Pre-Campaign Planning is Essential
The truth is pre-planning work is non-negotiable. Preparation pays off.
- Clarify the vision.
- Increase opportunity for churchwide ownership of vision and project.
- Define cost parameters/scale, which saves massive amounts of time, money, and energy.
- Project confidence when communicating the vision.
- Forecast practical and achievable financial goals and potential that helps leadership plan accordingly.
- Set course and pace of the campaign with specific action steps.
About Impact Stewardship
With 25 years of experience, Impact Stewardship can help you prepare for this season of ministry and ask all of the right questions helping you put your best foot forward and meet your ministry potential. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.