July 10, 2018

Learning why through “What if?”

“Why should I support this?” “Why will this make a difference?” “Why should I care?”

These are questions people process as they consider whether they should get involved or invest in a project, ministry, or annual giving. Oh, perhaps those who have been faithful participants in a congregation for 30 or 40 years do not need an explanation. Their “why” is because they love their church and believe they should support it. Younger generations may require reasons why something is worthy of their participation.

When it comes to special or new needs or ministries, people of all ages generally want to understand “the why.” St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Madison, Wisconsin, developed a fun way to communicate why projects to be accomplished in their capital campaign were important.

Instead of explaining the various improvements, St. Dunstan’s invited people to answer the question, “What if?” Several simple signs were made with colorful paper and a word processor and posted at more than a dozen locations around the church property, exactly where the improvements were proposed.

This created a tangible connection to outcome. Folks were likely aware that the sliding glass doors barely slide anymore. Posting a sign on them, asking “what if” we could easily open our worship space to the beauty of nature invited parishioners to imagine. Imagine the good things, imagine the positive difference, imagine that my gift would help make something wonderful happen.

Words are great. Visuals speak a thousand words. St. Dunstan’s combined this in a powerful, simple way, engaging people to support a brighter future.