"I never dreamed in a million years I would be leading New Day Church in a capital campaign."
These are the words of Senior Pastor Mike Sorcinelli of New Day Church in West Springfield, MA.
Pastor Mike and his wife founded New Day Church with three other couples. He grew up loving God but never loved attending church because of how traditional it was. Therefore, he planted this thriving non-traditional church which now runs over 800 in weekly attendance. With its exponential growth, New Day needed significant and costly renovations. Pastor Mike was faced with the challenge of raising significant capital but not at the expense of his passion for the Bible, discipleship and seeing people develop Christ-like character.
He recently wrote an article about his experience on his wonderful blog With Skillful Hands. we wanted to share his thoughts with you.
I never in a million years dreamed I would be leading New Day Church in a capital campaign. I grew up hearing the horror stories of capital campaigns (i.e. the senior pastor was hospitalized during the process due to the stress, the church ran out of money in the middle of the project so construction had to stop, the church became completely focused on begging people for money, etc. etc. etc.). As a result of these horror stories, I had no interest in moving within 1,000 miles of a capital campaign (despite the encouragement from other leaders that I highly respect to do so).
So my strategy was to simply trust the Lord for the money we need to completely renovate our building. Well, long story short, that strategy didn’t pan out. And initially, it threw me for a loop. I felt God had let me down. Here I had put my trust and faith in Him – because after all, He is Jehovah Jireh our Provider – and from my perspective, He wasn’t living up to His name. I felt irritated with God to be frank.
Out of necessity, not having the money we needed, I began to interview capital campaign companies and landed on INJOY Stewardship Solutions based out of Anderson, SC. I was so hesitant at first, but every step of the way I’ve seen the value and wisdom of hiring such a company.
- They have a comprehensive plan that takes you from A-Z
- They divide the whole process into four major stages
- They give you “to do’s” for each stage
- They hold you accountable to finish these “to do’s” on schedule
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
I have been learning so many awesome things along the way. And surprisingly, a lot of what I’m learning has nothing to do with raising money! I hired them primarily to teach us how to raise money, and feel that I’m gaining so much more than I bargained for! I’m learning how to be a better leader and a better pastor. I’m seeing changes that need to be made in our church that will pave the way for smooth sailing into the future that God has for us. I am 100% convinced that the things I’m learning from them through this process, will benefit me as a leader and will benefit the mission of our church for years and years to come – long after the capital campaign is over.
So yesterday I was out at Ashely Resevoir (where I often go to pray) and here were some thoughts I believe God was laying on my heart.
- If just dropping the money in our lap was what was best for the advancement of our mission, for our church and for me as the lead pastor of our church, then maybe that’s what would’ve happened.
- But since there are essential lessons I need to learn from this company, God decided to lead us in a different direction – not the direction I would’ve preferred, but in the best possible direction for the church, for our mission and for me.
- It dawned on me for the first time that just because God led me in a different direction than I initially anticipated, that doesn’t mean he let me down. On the contrary, I am now of the firm conviction that God hasn’t let me down, rather has set me up for a more successful future than I ever could’ve had without learning what He is trying to teach me through the process of working with INJOY.
Despite my being a “late adopter” when it comes to capital campaigns, I am believing that in God’s grace and mercy, he has lined up the timing so that we are partnered together exactly when we need to be.
Dare I say it? I am straight up excited about this capital campaign! I just know that when I look back on this season in the future, I’m going to say “Man that was tough! God totally stretched my faith! But what an amazing season of spiritual growth for me, for my staff and for the people of New Day! To God be the glory!”