How One Church Retired Debt AND Saw a Spiritual Harvest


In 2013, Pastor James Sunnock and his team at Victory Life Church in Battle Creek, Michigan realized that if they wanted to become the church God intended them to be, their facilities would need massive upgrades.

Their space was not adequately facilitating their level of growth nor fully meeting the spiritual and tangible needs of their city, so they began to ask God for vision as to what their next step was.

God began to make it clear that they needed to build a facility that was comfortable and inviting for visitors on a Sunday but could also be a place where ministry happened throughout the week.

However, the church had debt that was preventing them from taking this step.

In order to become financially positioned to build the facility God was calling them to, they needed to eliminate it.

So, Pastor James and his team brought in INJOY Stewardship to help launch two consecutive capital campaigns.

The first focused on retiring their debt while the second focused on raising the actual funds to build a new facility.    

In their first campaign, Victory Life was able to eliminate their debt through leveraging a clear, crisp, and compelling vision of what ministry would look like on the other side of debt.

After two years, they became debt-free and were able to begin raising funds for the new building.

In their second campaign they were able to focus solely on raising funds needed to build a new facility, and before the campaign ended, they moved into it.

Pastor James and his community at Victory Life Church fully adopted the spiritual journey approach to raising capital and as a result, they’ve seen God do some incredible things.

Since their first campaign started in 2013, their church has become unified in a way that it never has, it has doubled in size, and hundreds of people have met Jesus.

Victory Life Church moved into their new home in March of 2017 and it was a massive celebration.

That weekend they shattered all their previous attendance records and saw over 2,400 people come through their doors and 36 people gave their lives to Christ.

God has done incredible things at Victory Life Church over the past five years and we wanted to make it possible for you to hear more about what this campaign process has been like from Pastor James himself.

Pastor James mentions previous capital campaigns “were like doing your taxes.”

The team at Victory Life decided INJOY Stewardship was the right partner at this time. Check out his comments:

  • “My only regret is we didn’t do this stewardship campaign two years earlier.”

  • “My concern is we were going to overburden and doing a stewardship campaign was like preparing taxes. It was hard to get excited about it, and it was going to take a lot of work… Our experience with ISS couldn’t have been further from that.”

And finally, “It was a journey that forever changed me as I learned to sacrifice and give myself to my Lord and Savior.”

What happened at Victory Life Church can happen at yours as well!

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