The Structure of the Campaign
A Campaign Rather Than a Program
Most congregations are stretched to their limits maintaining their existing programs, staff and buildings. Few would deny that more is needed. When a congregation outgrows its sanctuary or classroom space or, worse, the roof needs replacing, leaders turn to the capital campaign. For a large project churches will often turn to an outside consultant to guide the capital campaign. Consultants offer specific expertise, and even more importantly, the consultant is not already 100% busy doing the day to day work of ministry. There is no question that a capital campaign is hard work, but done well the campaign brings new life to a congregation.
Most Episcopal congregations, my own denomination, do not know how to do active evangelism. The practices of the Emergent Church are held at arm’s length with almost a morbid curiosity. People fear that change will lead to the death of the church they know even as they suspect that without change their church is doomed. Even the word evangelism can cause fear and doubt among solid church members. For half a century mainline churches have been able to rely on the movement of people into suburban areas to grow their congregations[i]. Suburbs and urban areas continue to grow, but the people moving into neighborhoods are much less likely to be Christian church goers looking for a new church home. There is now more than one generation that has been raised without knowledge of scripture or the saving work of God. Culturally, it is no longer the norm in many areas of the country for people to go to church on Sunday. Something new must be done to reach these masses of people who do not know Jesus.