Capital Campaign

Capital campaigns exist to help non-profit organizations raise money for large projects such as a church building a sanctuary or a clinic erecting office space. Many of these projects take more cash than the organization can raise over a period of time, while the ministry or services languish for lack of facilities or other needs. A capital campaign can be designed to help the organization with not only the building plans, but also plans to raise and pay back the money to build it. There are numerous groups who specialize in helping churches and other groups realize their dreams of expanding.

The first step in realizing that dream is to sit down with a committee and discuss the needs, options, and budget. A model of the building is important as well as drawing up plans and blueprints for the project. Several projections can be made so that the design team and the building committee can discuss more than one option. At this time, it would be wise to consult experts so that flaws in the designs or in the budget can be addressed. Many groups who help with capital campaigns have expertise in the pluses and minuses of building just the type of project the design team has in mind. For example, a church who wants to build a sanctuary can get expert advice on how much parking must be available, what types of permits must be obtained, what the rules are about disaster preparedness, and so many other concerns. Many groups have begun to build, then had to stop because of a lack of knowledge on how to obtain permits or other procedures, wasting budget money and time. This is when a capital campaign project really helps.

Then an architect or a person with adequate illustration skills should make simple, clear drawings of the space the group wishes to create. Work with designers who can produce blueprints for the building. Break down the cost of materials, construction, and accessories that will be needed to get an estimated cost for the capital campaign. It might even be worthwhile to create a church building plan portfolio or folder. In it, store pictures of church styles and designs. Include paint samples, carpet, fixtures, lighting, and furniture examples as well as the cost for each one. Another effective tool to help a congregation or constituency understand the dream is to make a model of the building with landscaping so that they can see what is on the table. Also, bring up old capital campaigns that resulted in successful projects so that the membership can see how they worked in times past to augment the organization.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to raising needed funds for a project this big. Many congregation members or constituents balk when considering high-cost projects, and won't get behind them. A capital campaign, done right, can get these people on board by showing them the advantages of raising the money for the project. Divvy up the job requirements and let the building committee take part in the capital campaigns process. Talk with members of the church and nearby businesses to provide direction in the planning process. Do everything you can to create a safe and functional place of worship. Then enjoy the experience while making wise decisions. If we are in a position of leadership in our church, we need to take our responsibilities seriously. Psalm 75:2 says, "When I shall receive the congregation, I will judge uprightly." Take each decision to God in prayer first. Then proceed with the fund raising plans.

Christian stewardship was a fundamental principle of the teachings of Jesus while He was on earth during his 33 years of ministry and is apparent throughout His words in the New Testament. Church stewardship has always been a theme emphasized throughout the Old Testament and further amplified within the New Testament. It is not that God needs money, after all, He owns the cattle on the hills and the hills as well! However, His emphasis on proper stewardship since Adam and Eve ruled the earth has been indicative of a deeper issue of the heart. Jesus taught through one of His New Testament parables, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:34)

Biblical exhortations regarding the total issue of complete surrender for any Christian includes their responsibilities toward successful, financial management. Whether it is money, time, talent, material possessions, relationships or personal effort, God is interested in total submission to His purpose and plan for the life of every Christian. Church stewardship is only one area of giving that God is interested in since out of the heart flows the issues of life. Personal, Christian stewardship as it relates to the cooperate, body of Christ is an important concept for believers to yield to in order to truly be surrendered to Him.

God instituted the true Church, the body of world wide believers to be the active, representative organism of Jesus Christ to the world. Christian stewardship in all areas of a Christian's personal life is important in becoming an effective part of the true church. Narrowing this broader concept down to one part of the whole, involvement in church stewardship is a personal responsibility instituted by God for every believer. Again, not that God needs money, but God has chosen to use yielded believers who offer not only their time and talent, but also their financial blessings to under gird the work of the church.

In the Old Testament, God set a basic standard of personal giving through the tithe, or 10% of one's income. The New Testament expands on that basic standard of personal giving by encouraging believers to not stop there, but to give out of revelation as God leads them. Giving from the heart, giving by faith, and giving by obedience are earmarks of true Christian stewardship among believers who have yielded even their pocketbooks to Him. Personal, obedient giving among believers is reflected in vibrant church stewardship programs across the country that God uses to evangelize and discipleship a new generation of believers to become good stewards of His gracious gifts.

Christian Debt Counselor

Christian debt counselors provide a service for the most frequently recurring problem across America - over indebtedness. Between easy terms of department stores, credit card companies and the lure of incredibly low interest rates for major purchases such as homes, cars, and electronics, many consumers have jumped on-board the accelerating debt train. Even though Christian debt counselors tried to forewarn communities, many consumers have taken advantage of the lowest interest rates in decades to get a dream home, automobile, and other less necessary "toys."

The trend is reversing and as interest rates begin to climb, the offsetting stable income level is being consumed by higher payments to keep up with interest alone. Their pile of debt weighs heavy on struggling debtors and a good night's rest, free from worry, is hard to come by. "Mine iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me" (Psalms 38:4). In times of such despair, a Christian debt counselor can provide a course of action that will work toward a solution for over-indebtedness.

There are several well-known professionals in this area that have been heard and seen on national media outlets that have thereby gained public confidence within the Christian community. However, it may benefit seeking credit counseling from a lesser known Christian debt counselor simply because they may work harder to gain the confidence of clientele who can, in turn, refer future clientele. It is important to find the right personality of Christian debt counselors who will work best with the debtor. Once that is accomplished, it is time to work with determination to reverse the deepening debt trend and together, work towards finding a solution that will progressively get the debtor out of the "miry clay" of financial debt. "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. ... Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies," (Psalms 40:2,4).

Credit advice contains not only sound economic strategies, but also is given from the perspective of godly intervention. While it may be difficult to ascertain the true spiritual depth, it is reasonable to conclude that they are educated in economic affairs and with their expertise and honest desire to help others in a way that will honor God, these professionals are the Christian debtor's logical source of financial advice. As with any service that is financially related, it is wisest for a consumer to get to know their Christian debt counselor before committing their financial situation to them. References can be located by an online search engine without extensive research. Any reference to that Christian debt counselor source can be found within business records, related web-sites, blogs and personal references from numerous hits by the search engine.

Christian counseling provides assistance to individuals who long to develop healthy relationships with God and with their loved ones. So often, life deals hardships that cause people to become unhappy with themselves, their circumstances, and their relationships. Christian counseling, and more specifically, Biblical counseling provides an opportunity for individuals to seek guidance so that they do not feel alone as they contend with difficult circumstances.

In Psalm 139, God's Word tells us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made"; however, when times get tough we tend to forget this promise and become very critical of ourselves and of other people. Getting Godly advice can remind Christians that God keeps His promises so that we are better able to grasp His truth rather than the lies that the enemy uses to deceive us. We are given wisdom and guidance that can lead us back to the joy that God desires for His children!

Christian counseling is a very special ministry. It is, in fact, a crucial ministry for those who are struggling to stay afloat when it seems that the currents of life are sucking them under. If you are interested in becoming a part of this amazing ministry, there are several programs that will allow you to be trained in Biblical counseling. All you need is a heart that is willing to serve and an ear that is willing to listen.

If your spiritual gifts are showing mercy or encouraging others, this type of job will come very naturally for you. Most likely, you are a very empathetic person who desires to help other people know their worth in the Lord. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will have the opportunity to search God's Word and find passages that will provide strength and courage during times of pain.

Unfortunately, there are many people who wish to help others by providing support, but they second-guess their abilities. Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. If God is placing the ministry of Biblical counseling on your heart, please prayerfully consider following this calling. There are so many Bible colleges and seminaries that can train you so that you will be confident in your God given ability. You can take Christian counseling courses about topics such as parenting, marriage, communication, and health-related issues.

You can changes lives if you allow God to use you as a vessel for Him. If you wish to serve in this type of ministry, begin this journey by enrolling in a few courses. Don't let time and money stand between you and your passions. Know that God will provide! Online Bible Colleges offer courses at a fraction of the cost of other institutions...and they present very flexible schedules! Know that where there is God's will, there IS a way!

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