Successful stewardship campaign also reaps spiritual growth
SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
The parallels between the faith journeys of Abraham and Harvest Point UMC in McDonough, Georgia are uncanny. Hebrews 11 records that “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
When asked to support a three-year capital campaign, members of Harvest Point UMC responded with the same faith and obedience that allowed the Israelites to receive the Promised Land. They were called to pray, stretch their faith and sacrifice for a down payment on a “permanent” home, which would one day allow them to more effectively fulfill their mission of “planting, growing and harvesting…for eternity’s sake.”
Founder and lead pastor Dr. Steven Usry launched Harvest Point UMC in April 2001. Since then, this young, contemporary-style church has moved six times. Members currently worship in a 14,000-plus-square-foot warehouse that has inadequate parking, poor acoustics and insufficient classroom space.
In the spring of 2011, the Harvest Point UMC leadership team selected Nancy Young Hruschka, director of fundraising services with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation, to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study. After the findings confirmed the congregation’s interest in and support of the campaign, Harvest Point engaged the Foundation to provide campaign management services.
“We interviewed several companies that simply substituted the names and dates on their existing plan,” Steven said. “Nancy was different. She had a spirit of authenticity and grace and a willingness to tailor the program to fit our needs. She identified very quickly with our culture and brought a wealth of expertise we didn’t have.”
The “Homeward Bound…Trusting God to Lead the Way” campaign was publicly launched in October 2011. The leadership team identified two goals: achieve the financial results so that Harvest Point UMC could build a cash reserve for a down payment on a “permanent” home and create a powerful sense of unity and success amongst its members.
Both Steven and campaign chair Paul Taylor consider the campaign, which raised $502,247, a success. “Yes, this was a financial campaign, but more importantly, it was a period of spiritual growth for our church,” Paul said. “It was a time for us to realize that God wanted to use this campaign to unify us as a body. It was also a time to grow our vision of what God has called us to be – a church who reaches out to the lost and hurting in our community and abroad.”
“This campaign was a true testimony of faith blessed with excellent pastoral and volunteer leadership who kept the vision first and foremost,” Nancy said. “When asked to step out in faith, they did, all in the name of ‘planting, growing and harvesting…for eternity’s sake.’”
The Georgia United Methodist Foundation helps United Methodist churches, entities and individuals within Georgia multiply resources for mission and ministry by providing investment, lending, planned giving and fundraising services, and endowments, grants and scholarships. To learn more about the Foundation’s resources, call 770-449-6726 or 877-220-5664 or visit www.gumf.org or www.gumfplannedgiving.org.