Lessons Learned In A Building Program (Part 2) :: Michael Catt

In the last issue, we covered twelve lessons I've learned in going through a 10 million dollar building program. In addition, we've purchased over a dozen homes around the church and had two major renovations. What follows will be the final seven lessons. There are more, but I'm too tired from building and raising money to think of any others.

Thirteen. When you think about building, do something so big that only God can get the glory. When I do something, I want the Lord to get the credit. Like George Mueller, we need to have a ministry that requires us to trust God for everything and every resource. Most of us think on a level where we can figure it out. Let's trust God for His wisdom, and resources. This is not to say we should be foolish or irresponsible. We should be men and women of faith.

Fourteen. Don't blink, stutter, or hesitate. Your membership will take their clue from leadership. As leaders, we set the tone. If you aren't confident, don't do it. If you can't stand the heat, don't start the fire.

Fifteen. No one in leadership gets to hide in the tall grass when it comes time to sacrifice. Ask for sacrifice. Demand sacrifice. Set the example in personal sacrifice. This is a time when leaders step up to the plate. You and your leaders must be vocal and visible in any campaign.

Sixteen. Don't assume your staff is sold on your vision. They may not be willing to sacrifice. I've had a staff member who was in charge of missions who, we discovered, never gave to missions. I was surprised at a couple of our staff when it came time to pledge and they turned in a card that represented little or no sacrifice.

Seventeen. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most of us don't have a clue about buildings, electrical systems, sound systems, etc; Don't be afraid to draw from leadership and laity in your church for counsel and guidance. This is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength and confidence in your abilities and in theirs.

Eighteen. Don't be afraid of people who ask questions, they just want to know what's going on. Don't leave your people in the dark. There's a difference between asking a question and having a questioning spirit. You, as a leader, need to know the difference. During our campaign, our leadership wore buttons which said, "Glad You Asked." If you look like you are intimidated by questions, some will think you are hiding something.

Nineteen. See it through. Too many leaders bail out after the project is finished. Don't lead your people to start something you aren't willing to finish. I pastored a church in the 1980's where a former pastor left at the half way point in the building process. The result was a major cost overrun, confusion by the membership, uncertainty about who was in charge and a bad building. When I got there, we had to spend thousands of dollars to fix situations that should have been taken care of if the person who led them to build had been there to see the process through.

Twenty. Sanctify the process. Pray around the facility. This was a key point in connecting our people with the facility. We bought thousands of Sharpie markers for our people to write on the floors prior to carpet going down. The choir wrote on the choir room floor. The deacons, staff and other key leaders wrote scriptures on the Worship Center platform. Our Senior Adults wrote Scriptures on the floor of the Chapel. Families wrote passages together in the Atrium. These moments were symbolic and meaningful for our people. In addition, we spent the last four days in a public reading of the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation at the pulpit, in the new facility. We had more volunteers than we had time slots. It was our intent to make the move in a spiritual adventure, not just the completion of brick and mortar.

Whatever you do, do it with excellence, bathed in prayer, and with a humble heart. The building will probably be there after you are gone. Do something they will be proud of.

©2003 MCC

By Michael Catt

In the last issue, we covered twelve lessons I've learned in going through a 10 million dollar building program. In addition, we've purchased over a dozen homes around the church and had two major renovations. What follows will be the final seven lessons. There are more, but I'm too tired from building and raising money to think of any others.

Thirteen. When you think about building, do something so big that only God can get the glory. When I do something, I want the Lord to get the credit. Like George Mueller, we need to have a ministry that requires us to trust God for everything and every resource. Most of us think on a level where we can figure it out. Let's trust God for His wisdom, and resources. This is not to say we should be foolish or irresponsible. We should be men and women of faith.

Fourteen. Don't blink, stutter, or hesitate. Your membership will take their clue from leadership. As leaders, we set the tone. If you aren't confident, don't do it. If you can't stand the heat, don't start the fire.

Fifteen. No one in leadership gets to hide in the tall grass when it comes time to sacrifice. Ask for sacrifice. Demand sacrifice. Set the example in personal sacrifice. This is a time when leaders step up to the plate. You and your leaders must be vocal and visible in any campaign.

Sixteen. Don't assume your staff is sold on your vision. They may not be willing to sacrifice. I've had a staff member who was in charge of missions who, we discovered, never gave to missions. I was surprised at a couple of our staff when it came time to pledge and they turned in a card that represented little or no sacrifice.

Seventeen. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most of us don't have a clue about buildings, electrical systems, sound systems, etc; Don't be afraid to draw from leadership and laity in your church for counsel and guidance. This is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength and confidence in your abilities and in theirs.

Eighteen. Don't be afraid of people who ask questions, they just want to know what's going on. Don't leave your people in the dark. There's a difference between asking a question and having a questioning spirit. You, as a leader, need to know the difference. During our campaign, our leadership wore buttons which said, "Glad You Asked." If you look like you are intimidated by questions, some will think you are hiding something.

Nineteen. See it through. Too many leaders bail out after the project is finished. Don't lead your people to start something you aren't willing to finish. I pastored a church in the 1980's where a former pastor left at the half way point in the building process. The result was a major cost overrun, confusion by the membership, uncertainty about who was in charge and a bad building. When I got there, we had to spend thousands of dollars to fix situations that should have been taken care of if the person who led them to build had been there to see the process through.

Twenty. Sanctify the process. Pray around the facility. This was a key point in connecting our people with the facility. We bought thousands of Sharpie markers for our people to write on the floors prior to carpet going down. The choir wrote on the choir room floor. The deacons, staff and other key leaders wrote scriptures on the Worship Center platform. Our Senior Adults wrote Scriptures on the floor of the Chapel. Families wrote passages together in the Atrium. These moments were symbolic and meaningful for our people. In addition, we spent the last four days in a public reading of the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation at the pulpit, in the new facility. We had more volunteers than we had time slots. It was our intent to make the move in a spiritual adventure, not just the completion of brick and mortar.

Whatever you do, do it with excellence, bathed in prayer, and with a humble heart. The building will probably be there after you are gone. Do something they will be proud of.

©2003 MCC

By Michael Catt

In the last issue, we covered twelve lessons I've learned in going through a 10 million dollar building program. In addition, we've purchased over a dozen homes around the church and had two major renovations. What follows will be the final seven lessons. There are more, but I'm too tired from building and raising money to think of any others.

Thirteen. When you think about building, do something so big that only God can get the glory. When I do something, I want the Lord to get the credit. Like George Mueller, we need to have a ministry that requires us to trust God for everything and every resource. Most of us think on a level where we can figure it out. Let's trust God for His wisdom, and resources. This is not to say we should be foolish or irresponsible. We should be men and women of faith.

Fourteen. Don't blink, stutter, or hesitate. Your membership will take their clue from leadership. As leaders, we set the tone. If you aren't confident, don't do it. If you can't stand the heat, don't start the fire.

Fifteen. No one in leadership gets to hide in the tall grass when it comes time to sacrifice. Ask for sacrifice. Demand sacrifice. Set the example in personal sacrifice. This is a time when leaders step up to the plate. You and your leaders must be vocal and visible in any campaign.

Sixteen. Don't assume your staff is sold on your vision. They may not be willing to sacrifice. I've had a staff member who was in charge of missions who, we discovered, never gave to missions. I was surprised at a couple of our staff when it came time to pledge and they turned in a card that represented little or no sacrifice.

Seventeen. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most of us don't have a clue about buildings, electrical systems, sound systems, etc; Don't be afraid to draw from leadership and laity in your church for counsel and guidance. This is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength and confidence in your abilities and in theirs.

Eighteen. Don't be afraid of people who ask questions, they just want to know what's going on. Don't leave your people in the dark. There's a difference between asking a question and having a questioning spirit. You, as a leader, need to know the difference. During our campaign, our leadership wore buttons which said, "Glad You Asked." If you look like you are intimidated by questions, some will think you are hiding something.

Nineteen. See it through. Too many leaders bail out after the project is finished. Don't lead your people to start something you aren't willing to finish. I pastored a church in the 1980's where a former pastor left at the half way point in the building process. The result was a major cost overrun, confusion by the membership, uncertainty about who was in charge and a bad building. When I got there, we had to spend thousands of dollars to fix situations that should have been taken care of if the person who led them to build had been there to see the process through.

Twenty. Sanctify the process. Pray around the facility. This was a key point in connecting our people with the facility. We bought thousands of Sharpie markers for our people to write on the floors prior to carpet going down. The choir wrote on the choir room floor. The deacons, staff and other key leaders wrote scriptures on the Worship Center platform. Our Senior Adults wrote Scriptures on the floor of the Chapel. Families wrote passages together in the Atrium. These moments were symbolic and meaningful for our people. In addition, we spent the last four days in a public reading of the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation at the pulpit, in the new facility. We had more volunteers than we had time slots. It was our intent to make the move in a spiritual adventure, not just the completion of brick and mortar.

Whatever you do, do it with excellence, bathed in prayer, and with a humble heart. The building will probably be there after you are gone. Do something they will be proud of.

©2003 MCC

Author:Michael Catt

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