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Capital Stewardship Campaign Tips

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

What a Capital Stewardship Program Is and Is Not

A capital campaign program is a spiritual work, not a financial one. A campaign is about understanding there is a Kingdom need and a Kingdom provision to meet that need. It’s about developing an understanding of God's perfect plan of providence to meet the need through the proper stewardship of His people.

A capital campaign is:

  • A program wherein God’s people come together in equal sacrifice to provide funds for building.

  • A time of spiritual growth and faith building that stirs the heart and spirit.

  • A Biblical process that results in a 3-year giving commitment, normally raising between 1 and 3 times current annual giving in tithes and offerings.

A capital campaign is not about high pressure tactics, brow beating, trickery, guilt, or heavy handed tactics to “fleece the sheep” of their money. It is a time of learning, spiritual growth, and prayerful consideration of how God would have each one respond to the need.

Goals of a Capital Stewardship Campaign

The overall goals of a capital campaign are to communicate information, impart excitement, and provide for spiritual needs through clear preaching, teaching and prayer. The primary goal should never be considered as that of just raising money; money is a by-product of doing everything else well.

It might be said that the goal of the campaign is to develop wisdom in the body. The scriptures say we are to pursue knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Wisdom is the proper application of Biblical understanding. Through teaching and preaching, knowledge and understanding are gained, and through prayer is gained the wisdom to know how God would have us apply this knowledge and understanding.

Organizing Your Capital Campaign Team

A capital campaign is a complex operation that requires months to properly prepare and then execute. The capital campaign executive team needs to be properly staffed by the right directors, and provided clear objectives with job descriptions. Note that those people may not be who you think.

Generally speaking your campaign team should not be made up of financial people such as CPA's, bankers, treasures, etc. A capital campaign team should be organized into sub-teams with discreet areas of responsibility, with each sub-team being headed by a director who sits on the executive campaign team. Each of these directors should have experience and gifting according to their particular responsibility. Each director then recruits people to serve with them.

Timing Your Capital Campaign

There are three primary timing considerations for a capital campaign: how early you should begin a stewardship campaign before building, the best time(s) of the year to execute a campaign, and the amount of time required to properly prepare for a capital campaign. Churches often wait until they are ready to start building before they begin a capital campaign, or they wait until they find they cannot qualify for a loan before belatedly starting a Visit for more information. Timing Your Capital Campaign (continued) campaign. Ideally, a church should start a campaign at least a year before they are going to approach the bank and/or begin construction.

Churches often don’t understand how long it takes to properly prepare for and execute a capital campaign. A proper capital campaign is a complex series of events that cannot be rushed. Organizing, equipping and preparing for a campaign can easily take 3 months or more. If you wish to be in front of the congregation to raise money in the spring, preparation should begin the previous fall, and likewise a fall campaign should really begin in the spring.

Key Verses For A Capital Campaign

The Biblical basis of capital campaigns (as in special offerings) for building programs can be found in:

  • Moses building the tent of the tabernacle in Exodus, chapters 25, 35, & 36.

  • David preparing to build the temple in 1 Chronicles 29:2-9.

  • The rebuilding of the temple and Jerusalem’s walls in Ezra, Nehemiah & Haggai.

One of the key verses for a capital campaign is found within one of the best discourses on giving and money which span chapters 8 & 9 of 2 Corinthians.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” ( 2 Cor 9:8).

You are expecting your people to step out in faith according to how they believe God is leading them, and this faith can only be found in the scriptures, “for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Top Mistakes Churches Make In Capital Stewardship

It is said a wise man learns from his mistakes, but perhaps a truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others. To that end, in order to help you be wise, and help your church avoid the common pitfalls encountered in capital campaigns, here are the top mistakes churches make in capital stewardship programs. These are not in any particular order, as the seriousness of each of these common mistakes will vary from church to church, and situation to situation.

  • Failure to get professional assistance. Doing it on your own will typically result in giving that is only ½ or ⅓ what it would have been in a professionally facilitated campaign.

  • Waiting until the church is ready to build to start a campaign. By starting the campaign 1, 2, or even 3 years before building, you will have more money at the beginning of your program, you may need to borrow less, or you may qualify for a larger loan.

  • Focusing on the building as a goal instead of increased ministry. Its not about the building, it’s about ministry. People will be encouraged to give by a new building, but sacrificial giving comes from meeting ministry needs.

  • Not realizing the positive impact a campaign can have on lending ability. Many lenders require a capital campaign in order to qualify your church for a loan.

  • Not preaching and teaching in a clear, challenging, uncompromising, and unapologetic manner on what the scriptures say about giving. This should be self explanatory, but just in case, read Malachi 1. © 2009 AMI Church Consulting

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