Perspectives – Spring 2015 Issue
Welcome to the Spring 2015 edition of our online newsletter.We are delighted that you continue to follow the services our firm provides to churches throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
I think the summer heat has started to get the best of us here at James D. Klote & Associates because I’m very delighted to announce that we have decided to open an office in a part of the world known for its colder climate and rainy demeanor- London, England! The opening of our European office marks a spectacular transition from our usual business in the United States and Canada to our neighbors across the Atlantic and beyond! We’re certainly very excited for this new change and all the challenges and successes we hope to see in the future.
This edition of PERSPECTIVES features articles written by a few of our consultants and staff on a variety of different topics. They’re full of helpful tips and experiences from every aspect of capital campaign involvement. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed putting them together!
I wish everyone a fun, safe and fruitful summer ahead! We look forward to reconnecting with previous clients, as well as connecting with new ones in North America, Canada & Europe in the coming months!
Vice President of Operations
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.
I must confess that I do not like church indebtedness at all. There is certainly no economic advantage to a congregation servicing indebtedness for an extended period of time. Though, I often hear from church leaders that they believe debt for a church is good. I can understand the viewpoint of making church members feel they are needed through their offerings. I can even understand the desire to have members feel a challenge to support new and needed ministry opportunities. However, when the debt reaches a point where the current budget cannot sustain the payments, or the loan payments significantly impact the current ministries, I cannot see the good in that debt. When 40-50% of a church’s budget is earmarked for debt payments, it undermines the church’s financial stability. It can undermine confidence in the church leadership.
The Big Mo
By Glenn Wagner
“Our future is only limited by our commitment to keep the momentum going”
Whether you are talking about sports, personal life, business or your church campaign, one of the key aspects that will determine your success is momentum. Which begs the question, “What is momentum, and if it’s so important, how do we get and maintain it?”
Perhaps it is best to begin by stating what momentum is not. It’s not being a cheerleader, handing out compliments like candy, endless positive feedback or getting people stoked. These things might help keep momentum alive, but they aren’t “it.”Read more…
Lay Leadership During Days Of Transition
By Skip Schlafer
Transition is stressful. We’ve all been there at one time or another for one reason or another. Whether couch potato or activist, transition is a challenge. For the couch potato, it is especially stressful when the pulpit is empty – the pastor/priest is no longer in residence. For the activist, it is also stressful suggesting opportunities for change without clerical guidance. No matter how you identify yourself, the time between a known clergy leader and a yet to be revealed clergy leader change is a hectic one.
I relate to Danaan Parry’s The Parable of the Trapeze with his image of a trapeze artist swinging comfortably along, hanging onto a trapeze bar with a known clergy person and seeing a new unoccupied trapeze bar swinging freely ahead. The trapeze artist knows that a decision is imminent. One must release the old bar and make the leap toward the new, the artist must take a leap of faith.Read more…