It’s been some time since I added my voice to the blogosphere, but I’m fairly certain my silence did no lasting harm. Let’s blame my church’s capital campaign for my online absence. After all, campaigns make for easy targets. Just last week I was speaking with some peers and their comments joined the chorus of disdain that surrounds this topic. One said that their church had lost eight percent of its people through the course of a campaign and another forcefully insisted that they would never run such a campaign. What could I say? I’m a fan.
I always thought that asking for money would be a painful process, something to be endured, both uncomfortable and unavoidable. Since the opportunities before us require money I braced myself against the discomfort and asked people to give. Imagine my surprise when I found leading a capital campaign to be good fun!
Here are some reasons I am a fan of capital campaigns:
- They unite us around a common cause.
Large churches like ours have lots of people doing many good, but different things. A campaign helps a church grow aligned as people fall in step with one another and move towards a shared objective. Most memories of church unity are attached to a past campaign.
- They force us to deal with idolatry.
I suppose there are some people who don’t struggle with materialism—I just haven’t met them. Our passion for this world is most evident in the protective instincts that surround our money. A capital campaign makes us wrestle with the love of mammon and that’s always a good thing.
- They serve as an onramp for stewardship.
Faithful giving to God’s church is a requirement for every true believer. Sadly, many don’t have the upbringing or the discipline to know this joy. They simply don’t give like they ought. A campaign gives these people the opportunity to start a pattern of obedience with their money.
- They foster faith.
We often trust money to be our security so when we give it away we must look elsewhere for refuge. As Christians we are inclined to return to God. Sacrificial giving makes us more dependent on God. Every time we grow in faith, God is pleased and we are rewarded.
- They move us further faster.
We all want to be invested in something successful—we want to see God’s work gain ground and people’s lives changed. Ministry requires resources. Money doesn’t guarantee impact, but a lack of resources will certainly bar it. When the body contributes together the shared sacrifice enables us to magnify our influence.
For these, and other reasons, I am a fan of capital campaigns. Like everything else they can be mishandled but rightly used, I think they have the potential to leave a church healthier and happier.