First Lutheran’s capital campaign, Our Church ☩ Our Time, launched October 15th with a kickoff event that included great food, time to talk with friends and time to listen to our keynote speaker, John McHugh. John shared four stories about what it means to love, what it means to live with gratitude and what it means to be hospitable. We say we want to become more grateful, loving, hospitable people so John’s stories were very welcome. While he spoke, our kids played in the Pertzsch gymnasium, which I heard (from my kids anyway) was great fun! “We should do that more often” was what my 10-year-old son told me. Maybe he’s right.
You know what else we should do more often? An every-member visit. Most of us think the primary goal of a capital campaign is to gather money. I know some might think I am just saying this, but I truly mean it when I say that gathering money is the third most important goal of this campaign.
The real #1: connect with EVERY member of First Lutheran to hear about where they are in their faith journey. I have already heard in these first 50 visits or so about families moving, marriages that are struggling, upcoming hospital visits and all sorts of other personal concerns that have moved me to prayer and action. I LOVE knowing what to pray about when I think of you or your family. And knowing what to pray about moves me to know what actions to take that might be helpful where help is needed.
Goal #2: Find out how First Lutheran is meeting or not meeting the spiritual needs and wants of our members. In one part of the ‘visit’ the visitOR presents the 80+ ministries we do at First and asks, “Are we missing anything?” Again, in just these first 50 or so visits, I have heard about how we are failing the ‘sandwich’ generation (sandwiched between caring for parents and caring for kids/grandkids), how we too often go too long in worship and also how difficult it can be to choose activities at church when faced with the many other options life brings us. After asking whether we are “missing anything” the visitOR asks, “How has your participation in the life of First Lutheran changed over the last few years?” This opens the door for conversation about whether you are being pulled in closer to our fellowship or whether you find yourself falling away. As your pastor, I want to know what pulls you in or what repels you so that we can keep working toward building relationships that withstand the tests of time.
Goal #3: The church has needs and opportunities that are exciting to address, in my opinion. When we conclude this campaign, our facility will be ready to serve our mission for another 10 years. We’ll have budgetary flexibility to keep the staff who are doing great work. And we’ll be able to be generous to local and global outreach ministries in ways we haven’t before. I think it’s exciting that “☩ Our Time” is a time when we can put First Lutheran on course to take the next step in what Faith Alive! looks like from us.
When you accept a visit from a church friend who calls you, please know it is NOT just about money. We will connect with EVERY member through the course of this campaign because we want to hear from each and every person who calls First Lutheran their church. I look forward to hearing from you!