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successstories
 
February, 2010

Dear Friends in Christ,

From the moment we interviewed consultants to conduct our capital campaign, everything about John Laster and the Horizons Stewardship process of fundraising intrigued us.  Our last capital campaign was conducted over 20 years ago, and left a very negative impact on a segment of our congregation.  We needed someone we could trust to conduct this campaign.  John gained our respect quickly with his gentle confidence and timely wisdom.  In his competent work, he never lost our confidence.  We are absolutely certain that we will invite John to conduct our next campaign.

We chose to work with John because he seemed to be a person grounded in faith, and our impressions were correct.  John encouraged a habit of prayerful discernment as he walked with me to invite people into leadership positions within the campaign.  The tasks of the campaign were divided over a number of leaders, creating a broad base of people intimately involved in the exciting work of carrying the vision and raising funds to support that vision.  The process that John led us through was well laid out.  Each leader received a comprehensive guidebook that enabled them to track their own work and the overall project’s progress.  With the leaders of our campaign, John struck a beautiful balance between being available to them individually for guidance and direction, and allowing the leader’s creativity and expertise to shine through their work.  Perhaps the most telling aspect of our success in working with John and the Horizons Stewardship process was the fact that every one of the leaders felt the experience was positive enough that they would serve in such a role again.

John was honest with us in every aspect of the project, even when he knew it was not what we wanted to hear.  Every time John challenged our work, it made our end product better.  The campaign was a huge success, not only as we blew past our stretch goal to raise $506,000, but also in building congregational confidence in its own ability to carry out the mission that God had given us.  A major concern before beginning the campaign was finding enough people willing to lead and participate.  The Horizons process helped us succeed in calling people forth according to their gifts and skills, training them to accomplish the task at hand, and preparing them for the job by aiding them in understanding the overall vision for the campaign and the church.


While any campaign is a tremendous amount of work for the pastor of a church, the process of involving the congregation to the degree that Horizons’ does, as well as the way in which people are given what they need to carry out that work, made my tasks much more manageable.  I was able to focus on casting a vision and carrying that vision forward.  John offered his personal coaching skills through this process and every time he was in town worked consistently with me on other challenges facing the church.  John made himself readily available for me whenever questions or difficulties arose, even those peripherally related to the campaign.  With John physically present to us about every 2 weeks, and readily available by phone and email, there was never a time I felt like I was alone in this process.  John supported me in the capital campaign, challenged me to think more concretely about the mission and vision, and gave me timely words of wisdom and grace as the need arose.  By the end of the campaign, John became one of those voices of wisdom that will continue to echo in my head as decisions need to be made.

I highly recommend Horizons Stewardship as a company and John Laster, their consultant, in particular.  From the feasibility study, to calling forth leaders, to securing upfront gifts from major donors, to celebrating the results of the campaign, the process worked perfectly.  John conducted all his work from a place of faith, grounded in prayer, with a deep passion to see Homestead Church succeed in its mission for the sake of the Kingdom.  Homestead Church could not have been more blessed by God than to work with John Laster and Horizons Stewardship.

In the peace of Christ,

Rev. Becky Jo Thilges, Lead Pastor


Rev. Becky Jo Thilges
Lead Pastor
Homestead United Methodist Church
Rochester, MN
 
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