Gospel centered vision + Spirit led implementation leads to health. Health leads to growth. Growth leads to lack of space. Lack of space leads to a call for more space. Call for more space leads to a need for more financial fuel. The need for more financial fuel leads to . . . well, that’s where the real confusion sets in. Do you hire a generosity company or go it alone? How much will it cost? Is it really worth it? These are hard questions that every growing church faces.
The church where I serve as Executive Pastor is growing like crazy. Too much in fact. It’s hard to get a parking spot. If you get one, it’s hard to get your kids into kids church. If you manage to get over those hurdles, it’s hard to get a seat in the sanctuary even though we’ve reduced the aisles to pre-fire code era widths. I think it was Yogi Berra that said “No one goes to that restaurant anymore, it’s too busy”. That’s how I feel about our church sometimes. It’s not always a pleasant experience.
You can reach a point where your lack of space begins to affect your health as a church. We are well past that point. So we are looking at existing buildings, and dirt, and trying to figure out our next steps. I wish we could just expand on site, but our 4.5 acres leaves us with nowhere else to go.
New buildings means new funding. As we began to look hard at this, we realized we were going to need to do a capital campaign and that we were at a size where we needed to do it right. I interviewed multiple companies. All the usual suspects. Our Elders landed on Generis. Here is why:
- They had a competitive pricing structure for the services rendered.
- They were the only company that had a Rep who lived in our City. (Orlando)
- I just liked the Rep (Chris Willard) and he had XP experience. I felt like he got who we are.
- They came highly recommended from other pastor friends.
- Their One Fund approach resonated with our style.
What is the One Fund approach? In a nutshell, you don’t talk only about the building you want to build, but about all the ministry you sense God calling you to over the next 2-3 years. So for us, we’ll talk about the churches we want to plant; the campuses we want to start; the key staff we want to hire; the global partners we want to support; the ministries we want to expand; and of course–the building we want to build. This vision is way bigger and more closely aligns with our approach to facilities. We see buildings as necessary evils, rather than the end goal in itself. Truly, we’d just as soon not have buildings at all.
But why bother hiring a generosity company anyway? Couldn’t we just do this on our own? Why pay someone else to tell us how to raise money?
Well, the simple fact is that we probably could do this on our own. We’ve got some amazing staff members. I feel pretty confident that if we took the next few months to read everything we could find on campaigns, and talk to a bunch of people and learn everything we could on capital campaigns that we could probably become experts on this, and do it on our own pretty well. But who has the time for that? I don’t! And let’s be honest–I’d be the guy doing this. I’d be the guy on our staff becoming the capital campaign expert. It would take me months, and would be a huge distraction from everything else I do. I’d have a hard time focusing on the actual building project that we need the money for. I’d have a hard time working on our worship pastor search (we decided not to hire a company for that one, so far). I’d have a hard time continuing to develop our leadership structures and I’d have to abandon the staff that I was hired to lead!
At the end of all that effort, I may or may not see the same outcome. It might be slightly better. It would probably be worse.
Or, I could just hire a guy who does this all the time to come and help us for this season. I could lean on all that he knows. From a cost/benefit analysis standpoint, I’m pretty sure I’m spending the same amount of money either way, but hiring a guy is way less disruptive to the ongoing ministry of the church.
So we hired a guy. And we hired a company. And I’m really hoping it works out great. I’ll be blogging about it here throughout the process.