By Mel Kalagian

Definition of Leadership: Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.

When it comes to church capital campaigns, leadership is vitally important to its success. From the pastor, to the church governing body, to other lay leaders, their position in the church is required to help inspire others to support the long-term vision of the church. “When leaders lead, others will follow”, stands true for every campaign we conduct.

When you hire our firm to help you meet the long-term vision of your church, we first look at the leadership in place to inspire others to participate. Without fully engaged leaders a campaign will struggle from the start. Therefore, when you vote to move forward with a capital campaign, you must give 100% to its success.

In addition to current leadership, identifying potential new leaders is also important and part of what we do as a firm. There are many ways to identify potential new leaders but we find the best way is when you conduct, what we call, a readiness assessment before raising any money. This includes a series of focus group meetings to receive vital input from the congregation itself. This is a important step in organizing a successful campaign. These several focus group meetings, held at times convenient to members, gives everyone an opportunity to provide their ideas and insights for the plans of the future of the church, and most importantly engage them in the process early on. It also will give members an opportunity to participate (volunteer) and identify potential new leaders.

Through our readiness assessment, we can pinpoint potential new leaders not only for the campaign but also for future leaders of the church. I find those who do not see themselves as leaders are actually seen as leaders in the eyes of fellow members of their church. Our consultants are skilled in mentoring new leaders and helping strengthen the future of the church. Building up leadership and new leaders is very rewarding and inspirational.

Yes, newly identified lay leaders are important, but nothing is more important than having your church leadership be out in the forefront of a campaign. Everyone in leadership must participate in the campaign for it to be successful. When others see their duly elected leaders out front supporting the vision not only with their pledge but with their willingness to visit members of the church to share the vision, it inspires others to volunteer.

In closing, I encourage church leaders to not only lead the church in its vision & mission but also to identify, mentor and build up new leaders. By doing this you ensure the long-term success of your church and the continued growth of God’s Kingdom. Do not shy away from inviting others to lead.

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Erin West

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