July 20th, 2016

$11 Million Reasons Vision Matters: The Calvary Clearwater Story

x150Imagine for a moment that the future of your church’s successful completion of the Mission depended on the acquisition of an Italian American Club, the building of a gym for a school, and developing a permanent facility for your smallest campus. Each of these projects in and of themselves could feel very small. They are rather disconnected in affinity, scope, and proximity. Even when you combine them together, they would still not tell the grand story of God’s future dream.

This is where Pastor Willy Rice and Calvary Church in Clearwater, FL found themselves. Their God Dream and Vision Frame would become a valuable tool in catalyzing a powerful movement forward. These small, isolated projects became a part of a bigger 10-year dream. The church leadership would look to its strengths and the past work of God. From this an “x150 Vision” was birthed.

The main campus needed to expand its acreage so it could extend its ministry in the future. God had used the young school to see great success. Students were being raised up to impact culture, even resulting in future church staff members in their multi-campus ministry. The Clearwater Campus was ready to multiply again. They saw a third campus in their near future. The East Lake Campus was filling every seat in multiple hours. Its dramatic growth was now at a ceiling. A church plant was being launched in Pittsburgh. Finally, their needs would take them overseas with the starting of new congregations.

These projects actually rose from the past work of God and now had cracked the door open seeing into the future. They were just a small glimpse of God’s bigger dream. Calvary would launch a “Decade dream of multiplying by 100 churches internationally, 25 churches nationally and 25 churches locally.” The result was $11 million given by Calvary people toward the Vision with over $2 million being received immediately in cash. This was the largest amount that had been given in their long 150-year history.

Here is what we learned:Calvary Worship

1. You can fund a project or you can resource a Vision.

The church will always have projects. Sometimes they will be great, like a new worship center, relocation, or an orphanage overseas. However, sometimes you will be called to do little things, repair some things, or update some stuff. Every choice we make should always point toward the fulfillment of the bigger Vision. Our response should not be limited to what we like about a project or how we personally value it. The Vision of the church should be so clear that conversations are moved beyond the small to celebrating the big.

2. You can be a motivator of people raising money or you can disciple them using your Vision Frame.

Capital campaigns date back to the science of marketing in the early 1900’s. This is where the fund raising thermometer was born. Fund raising is typically seen as a short run initiative that results in a large influx of dollars. It can feel uncomfortable to the leader and outside of normal culture. The staff can even dread it, though all know it is necessary.

When projects, needs, and money are thrust to the forefront, the pressure of fund raising can force an untrue vision – one that is not anchored strongly in the past or seen clearly directing the future. These short-term, isolated campaigns while creating momentary success can erode future confidence. Calvary has changed the conversation forever. It’s no longer about money, but about global impact. The “X150 Vision” will be measured by immediate action, as each initiative is now live toward the 10-year goal. Three years of giving will turn into a steady surplus of resources.

3. You can get stuck in complexity or you can release people toward your 10-year Horizon Story Line.

Many pastors lack the confidence it takes to talk about money. Church people don’t always understand how certain projects actually move the church forward. If Pastor Willy Rice had gotten stuck in the complexity of projects and experienced a lack of confidence, he would have never seen the two young girls who went door to door in their neighborhood selling pencils, because they wanted something to give. The unemployed homeless man would have not received his blessing of two job offers. The new family would have remained on the sideline. The businessman would have never dreamed about how to live a big life by connecting his resources to an unreached group of people. You see, everyone dreams and everyone has resources whether big or small. God has a dream for all of our resources to accomplish exponentially more for us, in us, and through us.

If you don’t believe me, just listen to what Pastor Willy Rice concluded. “Finally, let me conclude this exciting report by saying our X150 campaign has changed the conversation at Calvary. We now speak of our church vision as not addition, but multiplication. The impetus to multiply leaders and churches has created a momentum that cannot be ignored. Pray with me that God will grant it for His glory and that as Calvary moves past our 150th anniversary, we will not move past this new dream of multiplying by 150 over the coming decade. May it be a driving vision for the coming decade and by God’s grace may the dream become a reality. Your faithfulness and generosity in our X150 campaign is a huge step forward to seeing that very thing happen.”

For more information on Calvary’s “X150” click here (http://www.calvarybaptist.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=296405&articleId=56961).

To view Calvary’s 1/4/1/4 and Horizon Storyline vivid descriptions click here.

Comments are closed.