Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

June 7, 2016

How Change Agents can lead a Capital Campaign: Part One

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:54 pm

Change Agents are key to successful Church Capital Campaigns (not to mention all other innovation diffusions). But what makes them so special? Why are they considered a necessary component to the process of taking a church’s vision from an empty hope to a grand fulfillment? What do they do?

 

As mentioned in the previous article, a Capital Campaign for a church is one of the most difficult because it involves getting people to open their tight wallets and to give extra money to something they are not sure they want. This is where experienced change agents come into play. They understand human nature and they are able to figure out all sorts of things that the untrained person cannot see.

 

What do change agents focus on when turning vision into a movement with momentum?

 

  1. First of all, change agents do their research. To do this research they ask vital questions of the church leadership to get a feel for what is wanted. At this stage, change agents want to know what kind of building or buildings are wanted. They also ask about the history of the church and most importantly they identify the “opinion leaders.’ This leads us to point number 2.

 

  1. Secondly, change agents gather the identified opinion leaders into a room and take the temperature of what they think about the change that might be coming. If the opinion leaders are not excited about the vision for church design, they will not use their much needed influence to persuade the rest of the congregation. If there are no influencers influencing, the vision stops right there.

 

  • Inside of this second step, change agents need to bring the influencers along by showing and telling. Pitching the leaders with just words is not as effective as talking plus revealing a very accurate 3D animation and architectural renderings that help leaders experience a vision of the end of the building process. Change Agents without the technological tools to back up even the most powerful speeches typically fail.

 

  1. Thirdly, once the opinion leaders have bought-in, the change agent(s) need to ask these leaders to start sharing the vision to the entire congregation. They can do this best by gathering people who are in their spheres of influence and by holding small groups with these people to tell them and also show them the architectural renderings and 3D animations. These groups are key to the process. Influencers are typically friends or close acquaintances with their small groups and I cannot emphasize how much they can move people from a “no” to a “yes.” You cannot expect the change agent who is a relative stranger to the church to make this happen. And you certainly should not have the pastoral team do it. Congregations do not want to feel as they are being pressured by professionals who “just want their money for a pet project.” (I’ve seen this model tried again and again and it always ends bad for the relationship between the pastor and the lay persons.)

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