What is the Role of a Pastor in a Church Capital Campaign?

Dec 05, 2017   |    3 min read


There is no shortage of vision in the church today. Most churches have vision that far outpaces the resources they have available to fund that vision. So, vision isn’t the issue; funding the vision is the problem.

To fill the gap between vision and resources, churches often enter into a capital campaign or generosity initiative. Along with the decision to move into a campaign comes the excitement of a realized vision. However, that excitement is usually accompanied by some measure of dread. How much time will this take? What will be required of me? Will we have to constantly talk about money? These are questions that likely go through the pastor’s mind at the mention of a campaign.

What is the pastor’s role? Where should the pastor’s time be spent related to the campaign? Knowing the answers to these questions from the start will save lots of misspent time and frustration. Here’s what the pastor should focus on during the campaign.

  1. Clarifying Vision. The pastor should already have been seeking God’s guidance and direction regarding the vision of the church and the objectives of the campaign. The campaign objective should serve to help facilitate the church’s overall vision. For instance, a new worship center is not the vision, but rather a tool to help the church accomplish its larger overall vision. The pastor should seek God’s direction here and then listen for His answer.
  2. Casting Vision. The pastor is the primary spokesperson for the church’s vision and the campaign objectives. This is an area where the pastor must be fully committed. If the pastor is anything less than 100% committed to the campaign objectives and the church’s vision, it will be obvious. To lead others to a place of 100% commitment, the pastor must be there first. There will be other voices that share in this regard as well, but it must be the pastor leading the charge.
  3. Providing the theological and biblical framework for giving. We can’t assume everyone in the church understands the biblical foundation for giving. Why should I give? How much should I give? Where did our vision come from? What does the Bible say about giving? These are all questions that are asked and the pastor must be out front in teaching the biblical perspective of giving.
  4. The cultivation and solicitation of major gifts. The successful funding of a large vision initiative is dependent on major gifts. While churches differ in regard to their approach to a major gifts strategy, there must be such a strategy in order to fully fund God’s vision for the church. The pastor must lead the way in this strategy. Just as it’s the responsibility of the worship pastor to build relationships and develop leaders in the area of worship, the pastor must build relationships and develop leaders who can set the pace in generosity. Major gifts are a non-negotiable in terms of vision funding and the pastor must take ownership of this strategic element of vision funding.
  5. Lead the way in personal giving. It’s no secret; generous churches are led by generous pastors. We know that where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. If a pastor’s heart is truly engaged with the church’s vision and mission, their giving will reflect this. It’s virtually impossible to lead others where we’ve never been. A pastor who is not leading the way in their personal giving will always struggle to fully fund the church’s vision.
  6. Leading the way in giving to the campaign. The pastor must not only fully support the expanded vision of the church, but must also be the first to offer a financial commitment. In addition, the pastor must also be willing to tell the church that they are leading the way. This does not mean sharing an amount or a percentage, but letting others know that they are leading the way, and sharing the journey that brought them to that point is critical.

Interested in learning more about the nuiances of church captial campaigns? Check out our latest eBook, The Hidden Costs of DIY Church Capital Campaigns.

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