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 against a church budget of $1 million. The debt was stifling and prohibited the church from doing much of what God was calling them to do.
Central’s leadership team met with the Horizons strategist who helped the church develop an understanding that a capital campaign is, first and foremost, a spiritual process. The Horizons process would push the team to deep dive spiritually and strengthen their faith before money and pledging were discussed.
Horizons’ strategist encouraged Central to devote 90% of the funds from their campaign to debt reduction and invest 10% in much needed facility repairs. The maintenance aspect would create tangible benefits for church members during the campaign. The strategy paid off—big. Horizons’ feasibility study projected the campaign would raise between $1.5-$1.8 million. In the end, the campaign commitments exceeded projections and totaled over $2.4 million. Keeping the campaign’s emphasis on personal spiritual growth allowed Central to let go of worry over debt and start moving forward with ministry.
Today, without the pressure of crippling debt, Central is better equipped to engage in ministry beyond its church walls. Because of their improved financial position, the church has been able to participate in ministries such as an outreach program to the local Hispanic community, a food bank, and a soup kitchen. Central has also partnered with a local elementary school to meet the needs of children from struggling families year round. No longer burdened with overwhelming debt, Central is actively engaged in mission and ministry locally, around the state, and internationally.