Bel Air Church in Los Angeles, California embraced a bold vision to become the “Church at Work” envisioning each member of the church working to bring Jesus into the places where they work, live, play, worship, learn, and grow, and to the people they encountered along the way.
NGA laid the groundwork for success. Working extensively with church leaders, we helped to identify and evaluate Bel Air’s funding priorities. We assessed the philanthropic capacity and intent of the church body and conducted an executive search to bring on a Stewardship Director.
To bring its vision to life, Bel Air Church would call upon its membership to fund improvements to the physical campus, invest in technology to enhance online outreach, and pay down historical debt to ensure the long-term financial health of the church.
When Bel Air Church leadership unanimously adopted the recommendations from NGA and launched a $14 million Vision Campaign, little did they know of the surprises that laid ahead of us all. It started off according to plan with church members stepping up to lead the campaign, making generous personal pledges, and hosting dinners in their own homes to spread the word. But one year into the campaign, the pandemic took hold. Church members could no longer gather in person - to worship, break bread or learn about the Vision Campaign. Was it the end?
Church leadership turned to NGA for counsel. NGA urged Bel Air to keep the faith and not to suspend fundraising. Together, we continued to seek support and testimonials from individual donors, making the leap from in-person to online, altering plans and adjusting timelines. Finally the sanctuary reopened and members were welcomed back. Bel Air rolled out the Vision Campaign to the full congregation. It was a campaign like no other, but by staying the course, Bel Air congregation reached its $14 million goal!
“I realize that my decision to work with Netzel Grigsby Associates has been one of the most significant decisions in ensuring that future generations of leaders will have a robust stewardship and financial foundation upon which to build. We were successful in raising $14 million dollars and in the process we developed a culture of stewardship that is transforming how we accomplish our strategic priorities. As an early career senior pastor, these two mission-critical accomplishments have been accelerated in ways that enable me to lead with confidence and gratitude.”
- Rev. Dr. Drew Sams, Senior Pastor and Head of Staff, Bel Air Church