Our church is currently raising money for a $4 million building and renovation project. We’re doing this whether we can afford it or not. Well, sort of.
Nowadays, what congregation can afford to take on such a monumental expense? And what congregation operates on a relatively balanced budget? Certainly, not ours. Before starting the project, we conducted a feasibility survey and opinions ranged from half-hearted support to out and out refusal to commit. Most questioned how we could afford such an insurmountable task. In spite of this, we voted to go forward with construction.
Here’s where attitude comes in, and here’s where communication plays an important role.
We humans are fickle beings. Our attitudes are easily swayed one direction or another. Whether positive or negative, attitudes can be contagious. In the case of our congregation, where the vote has been cast and what’s done is done, it’s important that members’ attitudes go the way of positive.
Communication can shape attitudes. Communication can tell people how they feel or what they are. Tell people they are happy, they feel happy. Tell them they are go-getters, they become go–getters.
A quirk of human nature? A shaping of our emotional makeup? Oh, yes. The media, advertising and political arenas know this all too well. They successfully use it on us every day. Can we also shape attitudes with our communication, and can we do it in a God-pleasing way?
For our capital appeal, the communications committee focused on creating a positive attitude that would dispel the Doubting Thomases. We chose a theme based on Isaiah 11:6 that provided a ready answer to the questions of why, when and how. We designed an accompanying logo that was bold, current and pleasing to all age groups…hey, even teenage boys were wearing the T-shirts at the church picnic! We regularly promoted church events to the community with news releases.
All of the above worked to permeate a sense of excitement in our congregation. But our campaign newsletters proved to be the biggest hit.
The appeal committee wisely approved a generous communications budget. This enabled us to professionally print eye-catching and well-designed newsletters that promoted enthusiasm and up-to-date information. Showcasing multi-generational families created a sense of heritage and history, as did photos and stories of bygone days from elderly members. Human interest stories, such as those of members going into the world with the message of Christ, reinforced our church’s mission. Stories involving community emphasized our relationship within our own city.
The tone of our newsletter was also well received. We kept the content light and easy to read. Of course we communicated God’s message—that is most important, after all. But we were also careful to do it in a non-preachy way. We included lots of pictures and most of them were of people. We recognized God’s blessings. We said thank you.
Have we raised our current goal of $1.75 million? Not yet. We’re still in the first of our 3-year campaign.
But God works in wondrous ways. What began as a negative attitude has shifted to a positive. Many people have commented there is a level of excitement and involvement within our congregation that they’ve never seen before.
To Him be all the glory!