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Oct 8 13 9:12 AM

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 More Churches Turning to Consultants to Drive Growthby END TIME HEADLINES
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Each weekend, 18,000 people gather at one of Eagle Brook Church’s five locations outside St. Paul, Minn., to hear pastors preach family-friendly sermons on avoiding excuses and learning to forgive. When it’s time to ask for donations, Executive Pastor Scott Anderson said he’s careful to ask only when God deems it necessary. In recent years, it’s been necessary a lot. Since 2001 the nondenominational church raised $40 million to build four new campuses. “We take very seriously the command Jesus gave to evangelize and to reach the world,’’ said Anderson. “When we start to get overfull, we look at the demographics and see if God opens a door.” A door has opened in Woodbury, he said, where about 2,000 people pack a high school auditorium each weekend. Last year the church decided to erect a $30 million campus in Woodbury with state-of-the-art sound, light and video systems and stadium seating for 1,500 people. Anderson and his staff knew it wouldn’t be easy asking churchgoers to donate to a fifth building campaign. So the church once again hired RSI Stewardship in Dallas—one of a legion of church consultant businesses in the U.S. RSI helped Eagle Brook raise $24.6 million three years ago during the recession. Last November the church started a new “One by One” campaign, with a goal of $20 million. “Our mission is unwavering,’’ the website reads, “to reach people for Christ. Our avenue to reach them is to build new campuses.” More