Organizing a Capital Campaign

May 22, 2023

Five Church Situations Which Benefit from Outside Resources, Part 4

Organizing a Capital Campaign

A church-wide capital campaign (to be blunt, a money-raising effort) can be utilized for many different purposes. A campaign may include everything from small projects like buying a new van for the youth group to massive endeavors like purchasing a new facility or paying down debt on an existing facility. But a capital campaign can be fraught with numerous pitfalls and ways to fail.

I have a unique perspective in that I’ve been a part of capital campaigns without outside resources and part of a capital campaign with the help of outside resources. The bottom line is that there really was no comparison. I’ve experienced moderate success in capital campaigns at a smaller level but some of the above pitfalls were also part of the equation. Just standing up in front of the church and saying, “We’re going to raise money for a new education facility,” might be effective, but almost never. Why? Because the communication, thought-process, discipleship, and momentum necessary to sustain that effort has an extremely high probability of failure. And you could find yourself with a 15-year-old building fund that never quite got off the ground.

Imagine being a family with small children and the whole family gets excited and supportive of the church saving for a new Sunday School education facility. But lack of communication, goal-setting, and organization results in a decade flying by without a significant move forward. Suddenly, some of the children excited about the Sunday School addition are graduating from high school and no longer interested.

Thus, once a leadership team decides to pursue a capital campaign, they ought not to “wing it” so to speak. I have only personally experienced outside help from one source, so that is the only one I can recommend, but I can recommend it highly. Dr. Rod Rogers of Abundant Giving ( and was an absolutely amazing resource for our church situation. Rod is a seasoned pastor and veteran of many capital campaigns personally. What I most appreciated about his program is not just the vast organization and resources he made available, but the thoroughly spiritual and heart-centered approach he recommends to beginning a capital campaign. Through his help, our church was able to start from scratch and purchase and new facility in just under 3 years. This campaign didn’t just build our facility savings, it was a time of spiritual growth and maturity for the whole church.

This short series is devoted to the local church that might derive some benefit for outside resources. Scripture teaches that the ultimate authority in the local church is the body of elders/leaders God has raised up (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1). But sometimes the better part of wisdom with this body of leaders is to utilize the help of outside resources with specific knowledge. This series suggests five situations which might benefit from an outside resource.

Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz serves as Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and is a guest instructor at John MacArthur’s Grace Advance Academy, a church-planting training program. Dr. Swartz is the author of numerous books, including Strength in the River, Joyful Generosity, Shattered Shepherds, and The Essential Church.

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