Christ Lutheran Church, Louisville, KY

The congregation of Christ Lutheran Church had a dream. They wanted to install a new pipe organ that would enhance the worship experience. After some in-house fundraising, they were still well short of the amount needed to make the purchase. It was at this point that Pastor Ron Poisel began to interview fundraising consultants. After interviewing several out of town firms, Pastor Poisel met Len Moisan of The Covenant Group for lunch. “Len believed our goal to raise money for the organ alone was too narrow. He challenged us to broaden the scope of the campaign to include other renovation and improvement projects.”

Pastor Poisel continued, “The feasibility study allowed us to test the level of support for these additional projects. By expanding the vision, we found that more of our members were willing to embrace the campaign. The study also allowed us to hear from our entire church body regarding non-financial components such as strengths and areas for improvement. It uncovered solid support from our people for the campaign and helped us set a realistic yet challenging goal. Still, for a congregation with an average attendance of just over 200, half a million dollars seemed a stretch.”

Christ Lutheran wasted no time getting the campaign up and running. Pastor Poisel commented, “The campaign structure The Covenant Group provided was excellent. They helped us identify key leadership candidates to chair the effort, as well as engaging between 80 to 100 people to carry out the work of the campaign. The structure allowed our members to use their God-given talents to benefit the church community”. As a result of the training process and the solid structure, the congregation pulled together. “Joe Cecil and Len encouraged us along the way by providing examples of the campaign success of other churches. This helped our congregation realize that we too could achieve our goals.”

When asked to describe The Covenant Group Pastor Poisel responded, “Organized, encouraging, good listeners.” Then he added, “Len and Joe are men of genuine spirituality and they incorporated that into our campaign effort.” The pastor referenced 2 Corinthians 2:17: “They do not peddle the word of God for profit, but they speak with sincerity.”

One year into the campaign and Pastor Poisel is very pleased with the results. “We not only exceeded our campaign goal, but we did so without having a lead gift indicated in the top giving level. It was truly a whole congregation effort and The Covenant Group helped facilitate that. In addition, the year-end numbers revealed that congregational giving did not experience the deficit we thought might happen during the campaign effort.”

Pastor Poisel would absolutely recommend The Covenant Group to other churches. He advised, “Lots of churches try to do campaigns cheaply, by doing it themselves. That’s a mistake. Too often I have seen people leading the effort get burned out and end up leaving the church. We did not experience any of that.” He added, “The Covenant Group helped us reach our full potential as a congregation.”