I love strategic thinking. In fact, when you combine that with my competitiveness then you have a dangerous mix for a “Settlers of Catan” game. Last week, David Messner and myself took the time to map out a campaign that is launching this fall. It was so much fun to see the ideas all charted out and arranged. (This go around we decided to go old school with paper and markers instead of using mind mapping software)
One of my favorite parts of working with churches is taking the big picture and breaking it down smaller action steps. This morning I was meeting with Kregg Hood, Senior Vice President of Stewardship and Loans here at AG Financial, and we were noting how there are easily over 100 action steps leading up to the launch of a campaign. And that doesn’t even include the follow-up phase. Sometimes a vision can be overwhelming, but when you get it all on paper then people can begin to see how, with God’s help, this might actually happen. So what are some things to consider when planning a capital campaign? Here are some things I would suggest:
1. Start early – give yourself enough time to build momentum for the launch. Plenty of lead time will give you the ability to be creative and make sure all of the details are covered.
2. Don’t skip steps – don’t think you can take shortcuts when it comes to a full-blown campaign without it hurting the vision. A good process has certain steps for a reason.
3. Pick a solution that fits your culture – there are many ways to do a capital campaign. The sweet spot is combining biblical best practices with a strategy that fits your church. Please note that a good strategy will also stretch you and your people. “Fitting” your church does not mean easy for your church.
4. Get creative – Do some things that grabs people’s attention, focus, and emotions. The campaign and the vision go hand in hand. Therefore, you want people energized and excited about both.
5. Ask for input – Even if you don’t have a consultant or a coach working with you, it would be worth your time to contact some people you trust and get their input on your strategy. A fresh set of eyes can normally give you a couple ideas that can really take your plan to the next level. Be sure to ask people who are independent thinkers who will give you an honest opinion.
6. Count the cost – It can be easy to get people excited about launching something new and fresh. It’s much harder to come up with a detailed plan to sustain and grow that momentum over time. Make sure you put plenty of focus on this aspect of the campaign.
7. Pray – God invites us to ask for wisdom. Pray that God gives you and your team insights, people to be on the planning team, and favor on the plans moving forward.
Really, there’s so much that could be said about the strategic planning portion of a campaign. What are some things you would add? What are some ways leaders fail in this area?