Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

June 24, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — John Jones @ 5:40 pm

Questions to ask before doing a Capital Campaign

Are churches asking the right questions when they embark on a capital campaign that will ask their congregants to give more than they are used to giving? I think some churches do, but I’ve been involved in several that didn’t ask. So, this article is dedicated to posing questions that I think churches need to ask before they set up a new church design.

  1. What is the motivation behind building more buildings or doing massive renovations to the existing building?
  2. Has the church leadership gotten buy-in from the opinion leaders at the church?
  3. Does the church design fit in with what is really needed for the congregation?
  4. How will the church pitch and “sell” the vision of a new set of buildings?
  5. How much debt will the church capital campaign cause?
  6. Can the church handle carrying so much debt?
  7. Does the majority of the church want to do a capital campaign?
  8. Has the church done its research as to which architectural firm they will use to drive this campaign?
  9. Has the church leadership “taken the temperature” of their people concerning this campaign?
  10. Will the church use 3D animations to ‘show and tell’ what the future church design will look like to the members?
  11. Who will be the point people for selling this vision?
  12. What changes or buildings are really needed?
  13. What does the church leadership believe is going to happen because they build new buildings?
  14. How will the church leadership handle dissenters and laggards in the church during this campaign?
  15. Why do this at all?
  16. How much extra time and effort will this capital campaign require from the leadership and from the lay leaders of the church?
  17. Will this capital campaign be set up to be done in stages?
  18. How much prayer has gone into the decision to build more buildings?
  19. Is God pressing this process or is a work of man?


Okay, I have a bunch more, but I think these will be good starters for any congregation seeking to build anew. Thanks for reading. Good luck in your projects.

June 13, 2016

Things to consider when looking for a house to buy

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:07 pm

Things to consider when looking for a house to buy

I’m sure there is a much better and more complete list of things that would help you buy a specific house, but I decided to give it a shot. Below are some of the things I would definitely take into account now that I am in my 40’s and have a family.

  1. Are there high percentages of sexual offenders in the neighborhood? I know a lot of people who don’t check out the database before committing to a house. This is a problem that you cannot undo once signing on the dotted line. And if you have children living in a neighborhood where there are convicted sex offenders, it’s dangerous. If you don’t know how to find out, ask your Realtor to find out. It’s too important to ignore.
  2. Is the property value going up or going down? If you look at a certain neighborhood and it seems nice to you, check out the prices of the homes around it. What was once or even currently a good place to live might be about to plummet in value because the city council decided to move the focal point of growth to a totally different area of town. An example of this from Lubbock, Texas is that my grandmother owned a house that was in the booming part of town. Her house was highly valued and the area was full of good young families and the crime was pretty much non-existent. But then the city started pushing for building out on the Southwest side of Lubbock. Within years, Lubbock homes for sale in my grandmother’s neighborhood were worth half of what they had been.
  3. What is the history behind the house you are looking at? No one wants to move into the Amityville Horror house. Ask deep questions and even do brief interviews with neighbors to find out if this house is a money pit or if it has been taken care of. Also ask your Realtor to talk to you about the internal conditions of the house. How’s the roof? How’s the electrical system? Do ghosts regularly appear while someone is taking a shower.

Okay, there are a bunch more questions I would ask, but I don’t want this article to take forever. Think about these three and I’ll bring you two more in the next article.

Even better, send me the questions you ask before buying a house – especially if are looking for homes in Lubbock, Tx (that’s my hood).

Until later good people…

How Change Agents can lead a Capital Campaign: Part Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:40 pm

How Change Agents can lead a Capital Campaign: Part Two

In my last article, I mentioned three things that a change agent must do to help a church complete a successful capital campaign. Below are the final three things that are crucial to this process.

4. Fourthly, the change agent needs to re-convene the opinion leaders to find out how many people are excited about the process to come, how many people are on the fence but leaning toward a yes and how many people are stubbornly refusing to accept this change. With this knowledge, the change agent(s) can gauge what sort of energies are going to be required to get to a tipping point. Most likely there will never be a unanimous “yes” vote, but if the acceptance rate is high, the late adopters and laggards won’t be needed to get the project done.

5. Fifth, the change agent(s) join together with the leadership to help them budget incrementally for the project and shows them the best ways to finance for the project. “How much will this cost?” will usually be a main question asked at every step mentioned above. A ballpark range can be offered by the change agents based on their past experiences. But an exact number will not be offered out until this stage is reached. It’s good to be vague early in the process. But this step solidifies a number that comes with strategies as to how this will be accomplished. When people see a yearly budget attached to this project and are already fired up for it, they will not freak out when the cost is set.

6. Finally the change agent(s), who are hopefully the same people who will be doing the actual building (best-case scenario), begins to lay the groundwork and then to build out the 3D animations. (Halo Architects in conjunction with Gone Virtual Studios is a firm I would recommend if you want people who understand change agency, vision, church design, budgeting and financing, and also the actual build-out. Feel free to choose who you like, but I happen to know these guys and I’ve seen their tremendous work.)

Okay, that is it for this article. See you next time with another hopefully helpful article as you enter into the Church Capital Campaign world. Good luck and God bless.

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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