Breaking Thru to High Capacity Leaders

The question of key donors always comes up wherever I speak, teach, or coach on stewardship. It typically revolves around a few topics like these: what should and shouldn’t a pastor know about donations and issues of favoritism. It is definitely a touchy subject and one we need to shine a powerful light on. I strongly believe that senior leaders need to bear the responsibility of discipleship of key leaders and donors. Here are some thoughts to help you get in the game if you are having trouble.

1. Think in terms of key leaders and influencers, not strictly donors.

You should also think beyond current practice to historical and potential influence. Resources come in all sizes and shapes. Not everyone knows how to use or release them. Broaden the conversation beyond money.

2. People who are high impact often times can live isolated either due to their busy travel schedules or need for privacy.

However, they do desire a few solid relationships with other strong leaders. Pastors uniquely fit this role and have more influence than they may realize. Proceed with confidence.

3. Every believer needs to be discipled, and every believer needs to be serving in line with his or her gift and passion.

Somehow we get this when it comes to hospitality, encouragement, or teaching, but struggle when it comes to generosity. Doesn’t every gift need support?

4. Build the relationship first and let it be of mutual benefit.

Pastors are high capacity leaders themselves who are often isolated and without a mentor. Be friends, listen, and care. Let it become second nature to you.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask.

High capacity leaders need to be asked in a clear and specific way. They are not interested in wasting their time or resources. They respond to high challenge and a successful plan. Don’t let their busy schedules or aloof persona be intimidating.

It may be scary or seem unspiritual to you, but press through. Just as the poor need to be served so do the well resourced. I promise they have less together than you might perceive.

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Todd McMichen

Todd McMichen has served for over 30 years in a variety of roles in the local church, doing everything from planting churches to lead pastor. While on staff he conducted two major capital campaigns helping to guide his local churches through sizable relocation projects. Those two churches alone raised over $35,000,000. Since 2000, Todd has been a well-established stewardship and generosity campaign coach, as well as a conference leader and speaker. Todd is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, FL and Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife Theresa, and their two kids, Riley and Breanna. You can contact Todd at or 205-223-7803.

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I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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