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Journey with Horizons

Your guides on the journey to mission fulfillment, our team will help your people discover the powerful Christian principles of generous giving: gratitude, prayer, and faith. With our diverse, ecumenical, and experienced mix of pastors, business leaders, nationally recognized speakers, worship leaders, foundation heads, church leaders, and published authors, Horizons understands churches like yours.

Which of These Best Describes You?

I need help encouraging my congregation to be more generous as part of their discipleship journey.

I need help planning a capital or annual giving campaign.

I want to know more 
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and projects.

 

Your Indispensable Guide to Growing Giving in Your Church

Giving365 will help you grow giving 365 days a year by providing comprehensive resources to apply immediately in your church. Giving365 subscribers receive ebooks describing best practices with step-by-step instructions for implementation, easy-to-use templates, and other stewardship resources. Subscribers receive weekly blogs containing effective how-to strategies and overviews of generosity principles. Subscribers get access to the Giving365 vault, containing additional resources for growing giving.
Simple, effective tools you can use immediately.
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Customizable resources for any congregation.
How to Improve Your Millennial Giving Right Now

How to Improve Your Millennial Giving Right Now

Millennial donors are considered the Holy Grail for most churches. Pastors are often heard saying, “If only we could get those young families to begin pledging…” thinking it will solve the church’s problems. However, most churches fail to engage Millennial giving....

The Top 5 Ways To Accidentally Reduce Church Giving

The Top 5 Ways To Accidentally Reduce Church Giving

In my over forty years of ministry, I have never heard a pastor say he/she has more money than the church needs. I have certainly found pastors who shared that their people were very generous or that they had out-given their budget, but never that they had too much....

How Healthy is Your Church? Three Easy Ways to Check

How Healthy is Your Church? Three Easy Ways to Check

Just as a doctor looks at presenting symptoms to diagnose problems with the body, a pastor can look at a set of symptoms to diagnose problems with the spirit. Identifying these problems can help pastors and church leaders take steps to create a healthy church. I have...

Our Impact

Clarkston Faith Story - Horizons Blog

A Story of Faith and Transformation You Need to Know

Inspirational stories such as the story of Clarkston United Methodist Church, Clarkston, Michigan, provide encouragement, insights, and motivation. Their clear vision for ministry, hearts full of gratitude for God's blessings, and willingness to follow God's leading...
Horizons - Impact - Central UMC, Rogers, AR

Central United Methodist Church, Rogers, Arkansas

Over 20 years ago, when Central United Methodist Church moved from downtown to their current location, they began a journey of growth involving building campaigns and, ultimately-- debt. After several years, the church found itself burdened with $7 million in debt...
Horizons - Impact - Zion UMC, York

Zion United Methodist Church, York, Pennsylvania

Twenty years ago, Zion United Methodist Church in York, PA began an expansion and renovation project that continued for nearly eight years.  The new and improved facilities provided many exciting opportunities for ministry.  The problem?  Two decades after dedicating...
Horizons - Impact - First Presbyterian Church, Franklin, TN

First Presbyterian Church, Franklin, Tennessee

When Horizons arrived at First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, their story was one all too familiar to churches today: doubt and frustration. Ministering in the most conservative county in Tennessee, the church experienced an erosion in membership each...

Ministry Strategists

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Horizons Stewardship Church Financial Campaigns - Partners - Texas Methodist Foundation
Horizons Stewardship Church Financial Campaigns - Partners - MortarStone

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Contact us, and we’ll set up a free, 20-minute strategy session, designed to help your organization ignite generosity.

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Featured Strategist

“My passion is the Church. The Church changed my life. The Church is the greatest institution in the history of the world. No institution in history has done the more for the advancement of humanity. I enjoying helping the local church advance her ministry and mission.” 

Dale McConnell

RECENT Posts

Announcing a FREE eGiving webinar by Horizons’ Richard Rogers

Richard Rogers is an author, church fundraising expert, and Vice President at Horizons. On Tuesday, August 7th at 10 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT / 1 p.m. ET, Richard will share his insights during his webinar, “eGiving is for every church.” Richard will discuss how eGiving will transform finances in your church—regardless of the size of your budget!

Join Richard, author of The eGiving Guide for Every Church, and GivePlus for this informative webinar that will demystify eGiving and show you how simple it is to get started. Richard is an expert in the field working with churches in fundraising and generosity coaching for Horizons Stewardship.

GivePlus eGiving Ambassador Richard Bauer will join Richard Rogers for this in-depth exploration of how eGiving can benefit your church. Click here to register.

An Interview with Horizons’ Founder, Clif Christopher

Since its inception, Clif Christopher has been on the frontline in responding to Horizons’ clients about church capital campaigns. Providing timely and insightful counsel to pastors and lay leaders is at the heart of Horizons’ mission to guide churches on their journey to achieve their mission. In anticipation of the release of Clif’s latest book, God vs. Money, I invited Clif to share his insights on some commonly-asked questions.

 

Common Mistakes

Kristine: What are some common mistakes churches make when considering the size of their church capital campaign projects?

 Clif: Often churches fail to maximize their giving potential. For example, a pastor recently told me about the growth and enthusiasm expressed in his church regarding a $1,000,000 building project. The church’s budget was $750,000. Given the excitement surrounding the project, it seemed to me the church could likely raise more. I suggested the church look at other needs and consider adding them to the project and have our team assess the congregation’s overall support. Assuming the support is there, this church has the ability to conduct a more ambitious campaign and raise more money for the kingdom.

 

Timing of a Capital Campaign

Kristine: When is the best time to conduct a church capital campaign?

 Clif: The short answer is the best time to conduct a church capital campaign is when the vision is clear and the congregation is rallied behind the vision. However, some churches are too eager to break ground and end up eliminating a lot of the giving momentum. If you break ground before the campaign, you take away people’s ability to participate in helping your dream become reality. Breaking ground before the campaign will result in getting  a building sooner, but you will have far less resources to pay for it. Also, it will be three years before you can conduct another campaign—and that will likely be for debt. Be patient and wait to break ground when you are ready to celebrate the conclusion of a successful capital campaign.

 

Estate Gifts

Kristine: Should capital projects be paid for using estate gifts?

 Clif: Generally, this is not a good idea. Using legacy gifts for capital projects removes the responsibility of the church to help people mature in Christ through more generous giving. Estate gifts should be used to strengthen an endowment fund that enlarges the ministry and mission the church is called to do. It should never replace what present members are capable of and called to do. Have a campaign for the project you feel God is calling you to do, and then use the proceeds from the estate gift to move the church beyond that building and into life changing ministry.

 

Staff Positions and Missions Work

Kristine: Should churches consider adding staff positions or missions work to their campaign funding needs?

 Clif: The problem is you are hoping to leverage enthusiasm for a building project to get money for staffing and missions. These expenses should be funded through the annual budget rather than included in a church capital campaign. Lumping capital needs in with operating expenditures is most often a bad idea. People may resent having a portion of their donations designated to expenses other than capital, and they may choose to withhold their giving. Also, funding a staff position through a three-year capital campaign creates a significant problem after the giving period is over. How will this staff position be funded in year four? If you need to fund a staff position or support a mission endeavor, include these expenses in your annual budget and invite people to support it.

 

Leadership Support

Kristine: How important is it for the pastor and church leadership to express their support of the church capital campaign?

 Clif: Well how important is leadership in any arena? It is critical! If the boss showed up late for work and only showed interest in coffee breaks, would the employees exceed his passion? If a coach was not that committed to practice and winning, would the players give their all? Church members are very in tune with what leaders are serious about. They listen to hear what their pastor feels is at the core of Christian life. Specifically, they listen to hear whether church leaders just want money to pay bills or if they truly believe that generosity is vital to discipleship and living a fulfilled life. It is very important every pastor share their plans for giving every year and why they are making that choice. Members concerned about being a disciple will follow.

 

High Capacity Donors

Kristine: In God vs. Money, you suggest that pastors should build relationships with their high capacity donors. Why is this important?

 Clif: As church leaders, we must stop seeing and relating to persons blessed with wealth as different from others blessed with unique talent and abilities that can be used for Kingdom work. If we knew a person with exceptional musical talent, we would be derelict if we did not spend time with them exploring how that talent might be used. Same goes for educational ability or leadership ability. One key job of a pastor is to help persons use the gifts God has given them for God’s work. This is no less true for those few who have been blessed with wealth. They need and deserve our time to assist them in fulfilling God’s calling on their life. This simply does not happen by speaking in generalities from a pulpit. It happens through relationship and personal attention.

I clearly remember the multi-millionaire who shared how grateful he was for the extensive conversations a college president had with him that helped him determine how to use his vast amounts of money following the sale of his business. When I asked this active church member if any pastor had ever sat down with him and had a stewardship conversation, he said, “No, Clif, you know that preachers do not like to talk about money!”

 

Clif’s books include Not Your Parents’ Offering PlateRich Church Poor Church, and several others. His new book, God vs. Money, is now available on Kindle and will soon be released in hardcopy by Abingdon Press.

God vs. Money

On August 21, 2018, my new book, God vs. Money, will be released. I wrote this book because I am firmly convinced our society, including the church, is in the midst of a war between the will of God and the lure of money. I am also convinced that money is winning the majority of battles because the opposition, the church, has ceased to put up a fight. God vs. Money is a call to arms. I implore you, as church leaders, to engage in this battle because, I believe, our lives depend on it.

Because God vs. Money is likely the last book I will write, I put every ounce of energy I had into each and every page. In doing so, I hope to get the attention of Christian leaders who must make attacking this foe a priority each and every day. My friends, if you care about the Kingdom and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true salvation for the world, get this book. Going to war is never easy, but this fight is one we have to take on and must win!

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:

God and Money both made promises. God has kept all of His and money has kept none. But money has better advertising and we keep falling for it. We live in a society where God vs. Money is a daily battle. It is a war and right now we are not winning.

 

In this book, I lay out a plan where those of us in church leadership can educate and inspire people who are capable of winning the war. These are the tools you are going to need to develop people who know how to go up against the lure of money and come out victors on the other side. I hope God vs. Money becomes a manual for pastors and church leaders to train and grow congregations of generous people who resist the lure of money and, instead, seek God’s will for their lives.

God vs. Money was not written to help you get more money.

It is intended to help you develop true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, who understand they have been given infinitely more than they could ever give. In this book, I contend that a generous life is glorious and leads to everlasting life, while a life being controlled by stuff is a dead end that destroys us and the world around us. This needs to be a war we want to fight. Not just one we have to fight.

Let’s prepare for battle.

 

 

Here is what church leaders are saying about God vs. Money:

Mike Slaughter, Founder and Chief Strategist of Passionate Churches, LLC and Pastor Emeritus Ginghamsburg Church says…

Clif Christopher has been my main go-to coach in applying practical biblical strategies for stewardship in the local church. This is an excellent read for church leaders who find themselves in church cultures adverse to using the “Tithe” word. A great reminder that we as followers of Jesus are the means to resource God’s mission in the world with practical tools to help us apply.

Talbot Davis is pastor of Good Shepherd UMC in Charlotte, NC, and author of Head Scratchers and Crash Test Dummies says…

Clif Christopher has written a Stewardship Tour De Force in God vs. Money.  I found the book both sobering and inspiring – sobering in its analysis of our culture’s obsession with money and yet inspiring in its description of the spiritual power of generosity.  Christopher does not flinch in his directives for pastors and church leaders – and I for one am glad for his boldness.  Highly recommended.

 

 

 

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