What is a Church Capital Campaign?

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First of all, what even is a Church Capital Campaign?

We define a church capital campaign as any kind of generosity initiative that is going to require significant capital to be raised above and beyond regular giving and normal tithes and offerings.

Whether your church is looking to build a new building, go from a portable location to a permanent one, build a new campus or site, retire debt, or any other kind of large project – a capital campaign is worth thinking about.

“So….. is a capital campaign just a fundraiser?….”

While many might say yes, we believe that in a truly successful capital campaign, people go on a spiritual journey that helps them connect to the generous heart of God.

God then moves in the hearts of people, making them generous, and fully-fund your church’s mission and vision.

The key phrase here is, “spiritual journey”.

We believe that a capital campaign is more than just about money, it’s about seeing people’s lives changed and transformed.


So….. is your church looking to raise some significant capital?

At INJOY Stewardship Solutions, we want to help you CRUSH your next capital campaign.

And to do so, we created a 4-part process to a successful capital campaign taken directly from I Chronicles 28-29.

Each step is essential for a great campaign.

We unpack each of those steps below.

4 Steps to a Great Church Capital Campaign

1) Vision Clarification

Vision clarity is the number one determining factor in a campaign’s success.

In the Vision Clarification portion of our campaign strategy, our consultant helps craft a customized capital campaign alongside the leadership team of your church.

There are two distinct components of the Vision Clarification process that produces a unique campaign experience: Environmental Assessment and Financial Analysis.

  • Environmental Assessment: Before we begin a campaign, we seek to understand your church’s specific culture and DNA, because we want to custom fit your campaign to your church. We thoroughly evaluate your current ministry environment and leadership culture to gain an understanding of your church’s rhythm and style.
  • Financial Analysis: At the beginning of the campaign, we set many goals, including financial goals. Through our Financial Analysis, we conduct a complete three-year study of your church’s stewardship and generosity trends. We are then able to develop a Capacity Assessment showing what your church can expect to raise with extreme accuracy.

Through Vision Clarification, your church is able to construct a campaign that captures your church’s culture, and God’s vision for the future.

2) Leadership Development

Everything rises and falls on leadership, including the success of a capital campaign.

During the Leadership Development phase of our campaign strategy, we help unify, develop, and deploy leaders as carriers of God’s vision for the church.

This is accomplished a number of ways.

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  • Campaign Team Meetings (CTM): INJOY Stewardship will help you recruit and train leaders for various campaign roles.
  • Legacy and Key Donor Development: We help identify financial leaders in your church, and craft a strategy that anticipates and answers their questions. 
  • Leadership Launch: Your church’s consultant will work alongside your team to create optimum environments to cast vision to leaders, so the campaign gains broad-based buy-in.

Through the Leadership Development portion of our campaign strategy, we help ensure the leaders in your church are unified and prepared for what God has called you all to do.

3) Going Public

In the Going Public phase, the initiative is brought before the entire congregation through a variety of channels, including, for example, targeted communication, small group studies, Sunday School lessons, and a sermon series.

This helps everyone in the congregation understand what God wants to do through your church, and equips them participate in the campaign by helping them take personal journeys of faith and sacrifice.

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  • Spiritual Journey: Prayer is the foundation of any successful ministry, particularly a campaign. Through a message series, and strategic prayer journey, the congregation will enjoy environments which allow them to connect to the heart of God.
  • Commitment Events: Following the Biblical blueprint found in 1 Chronicles 28 – 29, the leaders will make an initial commitment, followed by a congregational Commitment Event.

The Going Public phase of the campaign initiative is the culmination of months of hard work and prayer, leading to praise, celebration, and momentum.

4) Followthru

The fourth and final phase of our campaign process, Followthru, is vitally important, as it helps people walk in faithfulness to what God laid on their hearts during the Going Public phase, and ensures the financial goals set at the beginning of the campaign by your church are met, and even, exceeded. 

We accomplish this a variety of ways.

  • Reveal Sunday: Your church’s consultant will work with your church to fully leverage the momentum from the announcement of the campaign’s results. 
  • Capture and Assess Results: Throughout the three-year giving period, we are dedicated to sustaining and increasing congregational commitment. We conduct quarterly Financial Analyses that help fully engage pledged, non-pledged, and new givers.
  • Milestones: We also help develop strategic communication for events such as Halftime and Closeout Events.

Are Church Capital Campaigns Biblical?

At INJOY Stewardship Solutions, we work with you to develop a customized, vision-driven capital campaign that is modeled after the four-step process laid out in 1 Chronicles 28 and 29 and captures the heart of God for your church’s future.

  • Vision Clarification
    • “Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building.” – 1 Chronicles 28:2
  • Leadership Development
    • “David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands, the commanders of hundreds, the stewards of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty men and all the seasoned warriors.” – 1 Chronicles 28:1
    • ““Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?” Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.” – 1 Chronicles 29:5b-9
  • Going Public
    • Following the biblical example found in I Chronicles 29, leaders will lead the way in making their financial commitments.
    • “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” – 1 Chronicles 29:14
    • “Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king.” – 1 Chronicles 29:20
  • FollowThru
    • “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5

Your people will be taken on a spiritual journey of generosity so they give out of obedience to God, and become more fully-surrendered followers of Christ.

What Makes a Church Capital Campaign Successful?

People are often confused about what the defining moment of a capital campaign is; what makes a capital campaign successful?

Many pastors and church leaders think it is the Commitment Event.

When people bring their pledges or intentions as a measurable expression of the work God has done in their hearts, that is a very significant moment.

But, that is not the defining moment. 

Others think it is when the permitting process is approved, and ground is broken.

The ball is rolling, and things are beginning to take shape.

This is without a doubt a significant moment of celebration, but not the defining moment.

What about when you finally get into your building, or burn your bank note?

This is the starting line; now, ministry can be facilitated as God is calling your church to do so.

Therefore, this is a significant moment, but is not the defining moment.

So, if none of these important events is the defining moment, what is?

A life walking with Jesus is a life marked by continual surrender to Him.

As we become more like Him, we begin to live more generous and open lives, because that’s Who He is.

The Defining Moment of a Campaign

Therefore, the defining moment in a campaign may look something like this: 

  • When a husband and wife sit down at a kitchen table, open their Bibles, lay out their budget, look at each other, and say, “Honey, the pastor and our leadership have been talking about financially supporting our church’s future. I know you’ve been praying. So have I. What do you think God is telling us to do?”
  • When the college student, working a part-time job, sits in her dorm-room and asks God how she can be a part of the work He wants to do through her church.
  • When God grabs the heart of the successful businessman, and shows him that security and riches are found in Him, not any treasure of this world, causing the businessman to grow in generosity, and become a major player in God’s vision for the church becoming a reality.

Those singular moments, multiplied a dozen, a hundred, or even thousands of times at your church, are the campaign’s defining moments.

Why? The kitchen table conversation is the expression of how God has changed a human heart during the campaign.

The dorm-room prayer is evidence God has built something far more than brick and mortar.

The moment of surrender in the businessman’s life shows a life now marked by faith, generosity, and sacrifice, rather than greed.

The ripples of those moments will be felt for years, even after the giving period has concluded, and the building’s new smell has worn off.

So, enjoy the Commitment Event, because a lot of hard work and prayer went into it.

Celebrate the permit process, and the construction of your facility.

Soak in the new paint smell.

And give praise to God for the hundreds and thousands who will give their lives to Him in the new building.

Campaigns Are About Seeing Life-Change

But never forget, this is all the result of a defining moment when one or two individuals bowed before God, with open hands and open hearts, and asked Him what He would have them do, trusting Him to provide as they surrendered and sacrificed.

At INJOY Stewardship, our primary job is to work with your church to see as many defining moments happen as possible, because that is where true life-change takes place.

5 Distinct Qualities of Churches with Great Campaigns

Define success, and invest appropriately.

In order for your church to craft a successful capital campaign, you must first define success.

While each church may differ slightly in their approaches to success, a successful capital campaign is defined by making disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).

We see this achieved through personal stories of life change, an expanded leadership base at the church, maximum participation from the congregation, and maximum dollars raised.

Through partnering with thousands of churches, we have noticed five qualities of churches that see this type of success in their capital campaigns.

1. Great campaigns are lead by tremendous staff and volunteer leaders.

Everything rises and falls on leadership.

Successful campaigns increase the capacity of current leaders, and help identify new leaders.

Many pastors tell us they identified their next several staff hires during the campaign!

2. Pastors want simplicity in all things, including the campaign.

It is important to quickly point out simplicity doesn’t mean it’s easy!

Sometimes it is more difficult to do the work to keep things uncluttered and simple. Simplicity is clarity.

3. Pastors are forthright, confident, and unapologetic when communication the vision of the church and campaign.

If the leader is passionate about their campaign, and confidently proclaims the vision, a campaign has a tremendous chance of succeeding.

If the leader views the campaign as task they are obligated to do, there is little chance of a successful capital initiative.

4. The church emphasizes overall stewardship, not just the campaign.

When church leaders help their people win with all the money God has provided them, a spirit of partnership rises up.

The entire church knows the leadership team cares greatly about the funding and accomplishment of the God-given dreams of each individual.

The old statement rings true: “Help enough people get what they want, and they will help you get what you want.”

5. The campaign is given top priority and focus.

When a campaign is the top focus, it cannot be lost in the day-to-day ministry of a church.

It also helps ensure maximum participation.

However, if an initiative is forced to compete with ten special offerings, and five special events unrelated to the campaign, the campaign will suffer.

We are committed to staying with your church throughout the entire campaign process, doing all we can to serve your church with integrity and excellence.

We would love to discuss your needs and timeline and help you on your church’s capital campaign journey.

If you would like to speak to one of our consultants, click the button below and someone will be in touch with you in the next 24 hours.

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