The funniest thing someone has ever said to me in my ministry career is “attendance doesn’t equal commitment”. It happened a few years back when a lady wasn’t happy with me and my wife for asking the students in our small groups to commit to the group and make it a priority. Something deep inside of her must have been rubbed the wrong way knowing that her daughter was serious about soccer and gave the church some leftovers. She proceeded to corner my wife and I separately on a Sunday morning and tell us her opinions.
“Attendance doesn’t equal commitment” she said. It broke my heart because she was saying that complete opposite of the truth and was deceived.
Imagine telling your boss, or your coach that you are supper committed, but will attend marginally. You know the heart and reasoning behind that meeting or practice, but you have another commitment. You understand this game is a big deal, but so are Buckeye tickets.
I see this kind of marginal commitment to Church all the time. Why do we talk about our commitment to Jesus, but not back it up by spending time with his Church?
Attendance equals commitment. When you care about something you will schedule and prioritize around it. When you are committed to something or someone you give your time to them to show where your heart is. When you care about Jesus you will love the things he loves and you will love His Church.
In this season of startup, I have asked the Movement Church launch team to not miss one of our meetings together unless they or someone they love are in the hospital. There is no substitute for faithful attendance because it equals commitment.
In my new role as a church planter I am being stretched and doing many things that are new to me. One of those things is fund raising. I had done a little asking for money in the past, as far as increasing budgets and things that were missions trip related, but this was a good 100k beyond that. Things change when you are raising support for your own family. I thought today I would share some things I have learned that might encourage someone else who is in that season of life.
- Make a plan – I love the saying “if you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time”. You need a startup plan just like any business trying to get off the ground. For me that was a timeline of when we needed to do certain things, including raising money. I also think it is important to know your audience and to guesstimate what bracket certain churches, individuals, and organizations will probably give in. We had a goal of 5 churches being very involved as well as 5 individuals who could give more than an average family.
- WORK the plan – Like anything else, to be successful at fundraising you have to work. You need to make a checklist of who you are going to contact and how you have tried or failed and what correspondence you have had. Someone might be an email person, or they may only want you to call or text them. You have to find your niche as well as how your specific audience is comfortable.
- Get organized – When you talk to someone, you have to be able to say your vision and what you need very clearly. You also need to do your homework and answer any and every question they may have. For us, that meant I put in hours of work months ahead putting together a very polished proposal that I would send people by email and than request a meeting with them. The proposal was my currency that told them I was serious about this and that I had put in the work.
- Don’t be afraid to rely on relationship – Sometimes you feel like you are bothering people by asking them for money, but the reality is that they can say “no”. People who know you have a vested interest in your life and are a part of your story. Give them a vision for where you are going and how they can be apart of that. No one else will believe in you more than those who have been closest in your life so your core support should come from this same area.
- Have thick skin – People will tell you no so get ready for it. They might do it nicely and they might not. It might be someone you expected and it might not. If you are going to be bold with your requests, expect some bold answers for the better and worse. What you are starting is going to be much tougher than being told no so let it be a testing ground for your dream.
If you hang out with me for more than one hour I will probably tell you that you or someone close by remind me of someone. It might be someone famous, or it might just be another friend of mine..
Through the years this has lead me to do a few different “people I know who look like celebrities” (or not so famous people too) posts on the ole blog here. So here goes the third edition. You can check out the first one here and the second one here.
Don’t be offended, just humor me.
The blog has been silent.
Change is upon us.
What have I been up to?
Time for some catch up…..
- On July 31st I my job as the pastor of student ministries at Grace Church concluded.
- I walked out the door with Josh Howard and drove straight to Nashville, TN for a little time away and some time dreaming together.
- Why did we need time to dream? Because we are planting a church and if you haven’t heard me say that you live in a cave.
- Speaking of planting a church, my blogging frequency is going to pick up like the good ole days of 2008ish.
- Josh and I had fun in Nashvegas hanging out at Life Fitness Academy, gleaning fashion advice from Danielle of All Most Famous, and checking out the downtown honky-tonk scene among other things.
- We also hung out with the one and only Zach Boehm and the Wally Show gang. So much fun, I will be back….if they let me.
- After Nashville, my family and I left to go to Bald Head Island in North Carolina.
- For the 5th straight year we were gifted a week of vacation by a family from Grace Church. They have been and still are so good to us.
- We love Bald Head Island. This year we knew what to expect, how to get there, and how to enjoy it this year so it was even more fun.
- We went to the beach, swam in the pool, drove a golf cart around the island, hung out as a family, watched some cable, and worked out every day. That is my idea of a vacation.
- On the way to and back from vacation we also stopped and saw our friends the Hyser’s and also visited their church Elevation Church.
- We did that last year so we attended Elevation 4 out of 54 weeks. Not to go all fan boy, but it is always encouraging to be there and I learn a lot and take mental and literal notes.
- They really do honor everyone, including pastors who visit, and I was blessed because of it.
- Last week I broke in the home office and eased back in to Hilliard life again.
- I have my office all set up and made a little sign I have been dreaming up.
- I even got Josh Howard’s area ready to go.
- This week I feel ready to go and have some patterns set and have adjusted to home.
- Sunday we will be commissioned at our sending church Encounter and meet in their building every week from now until the end of the year.
- I love my life right now, I love what God has called us to and I am excited for the fall and the future.