Perspectives – Summer 2011 Issue
Welcome to the New Edition of Perspectives – Summer 2011
As we move into the summer months and reflect on this past spring, I am reminded of how important it is for church leaders to engage their congregations in not only a focus on vital ministries, but also how to financially support those ministries.
The first quarter of 2011 has been an exciting time in stewardship. While there is still a significant concern over the US economy, a great number of capital campaigns continue for a variety of reasons, and with outstanding results. Many of these success stories have already been added to our website.
Admittedly, there is much greater competition for charitable dollars than there ever has been. While campaign efforts for new construction and renovation are still being conducted, we are directing far more debt related efforts out of necessity. In many cases, the necessity is due to the fear of reducing church staff and annual ministries.
At one time it may have seemed acceptable to build new facilities to be funded with future contributions. However, as we have experienced in all walks of life, the time for financial responsibility is now. The good news is that most church leaders and congregations understand how important it is to retire debt. The focus should not revolve around the cost of the mortgage or monthly payments to the bank. Rather, engaging the members of your church in thoughtful and prayerful discernment around the needed ministries which could be funded from the savings after retiring the debt must be the primary objective.
We continue to believe that the best approach in providing for a strong financial future of any church begins with engaging all members of the congregation. Without exception, the best method for funding the vital ministries of the church is to first create ownership and build enthusiasm. Once that has occurred, a personal and confidential approach in communicating the needs and asking for prayerful consideration of financial support must be administered.
Let’s face it, the completion for dollars is growing keener by the day. Those churches becoming more aggressive in communicating annual as well as capital needs will do much better in the coming months and years.
Get Your Church Out of Debt
By Jim Klote
The number of congregations around the United States with significant debt is growing every day. To say it is reaching epidemic proportions is not an overstatement. Years ago, most prospective clients called regarding the need to raise funds for new construction, renovation and property acquisition. Today, most calls discuss the need to reduce debt. The reasons they are in debt are many. Some have used a line of credit to pay for deferred maintenance issues; some have construction loans; others purchased property for future expansion that is now on hold.
“What next” we question in frustration.
“What next” we cry out in anger.
“What next” we ask in anticipation…”What next?”
“What next” for Wall Street?
“What next” for Main Street?
“What next” for our sisters and brothers around the globe?
“What next” for me?
“What next” for my church?
St. Bede’s Goes Green
Menlo Park, CA – “Bede’s Greening” has been the theme of St. Bede’s strategic plan process, which has led them into their recent capital campaign with James D. Klote & Associates. They have been focusing on stewardship and sustainability goals, for both planet and parish, for the last five years. This work has made them confident that what is best for the earth is also best for their faith community and every community. Furthermore, St. Bede’s is committed to their witness as earth stewards, thinking globally and acting locally. Faith communities are logical places to proclaim the redemption of creation!