Case Study

Worthington ChristianWorthington Christian Church—Columbus, OH

Church Profile
WCC was founded by 36 people in 1975 in a sparsely developed area in northern Columbus, Ohio. Since then, the area has developed rapidly partly because of an excellent major road system providing close access to the Interstate Highway system serving the Central Ohio area. Major roads are fronted by typical commercial development surrounded by a variety of residential housing styles and densities. WCC now is “home” to about 1700 members with three Sunday services with a total attendance averaging about 1250 each week. Our membership and regular attendees live in more than 50 different zip codes spread across the Central Ohio metropolitan area having a population of 1,757,000 people.

Ministry Challenge
In 1997, the Children’s Education Ministry prepared a Five Year Plan based upon an earlier study of attendance records and trends. Using that Plan as a base, a Space Evaluation Study was begun in January 2001 to assess attendance records relative to the space available in the then existing building. This study indicated the attendance in the K-6 grades was 27% higher than recorded only five years earlier. Adult attendance (7th grade and all adults) had increased by 55% in the five year period. It was clearly obvious we had outgrown our available education space and other facilities were strained as well.

After prayer and consultation with other leaders in the congregation, and four focus group sessions with members of the congregation, WCC’s elders decided that a building program was a necessity and began to move forward with an aggressive schedule. Shortly after an architect began producing conceptual studies, we began a Capital Stewardship Campaign.

Capital Stewardship Campaign
Michael Vilardo served as consultant representative during the campaign. With his leadership, we realized that a few people, however gifted, could not achieve the campaign goal alone. Three campaign leaders and a coordinator led the effort. We created 11 committees, each of which was led by 2, or in most cases, 3 people. Forty-two people served as committee leaders. These committee leaders recruited others to assist until we eventually involved 318 people – each with different, yet compatible gifts to serve in the process. Eventually, home meetings were held where every member of the congregation participated. What was normally a 7-month process was compressed into 5 ½ months concluding with a Celebration Sunday on December 22, 2002.. Several estimates of the three-year commitment we asked of members were made – none thought the gifts would total more than $ 1,000,000. The commitment totaled $ 3,245,134. Attendance at the time was averaging about 900 in three services.

Specific Resources Provided

    Our proposed expansion program consisted of the following elements:

Area Data (in Sq. Ft.)

Original Building 41,000
New Addition 38,375
Remodeling 22,760
Total (Old+New) 79,375


Area Detail (major elements in Sq. Ft.)

Education Wing 24,150 (two story building with 25 classrooms)
Administration Wing 5,475 (9 offices, conference & work room)
Northwest Addition 5,150 (5 adult classrooms)
Nursery & Toddler Area 3,600
Total Cost $6,000,000
    Our expansion program was completed in November 2005.

The program as extremely well designed and structured and certainly on target, but Michael Vilardo’s leadership set it apart because of his dedication and encouragement throughout. Campaign leaders often commented that Michael’s description of program elements was always supported with detailed examples that were easy to understand. Even though we were forced to accelerate our program, Michael seemed unfazed by that fact. His past experience as a minister was evident throughout the program to the three leaders and to our group leaders as well. His calm, reassuring confidence was a huge part of our success. In every aspect, we considered his work extraordinary.

Although space for young people (K-12) was our beginning emphasis, we expanded other aspects as well to great benefit. K-12 attendance has nearly doubled and adult attendance increased by about one-third. The additional rooms and wide hallways have enabled our VBS program to grow to our 2010 level of slightly more than 1200 total in morning and evening sessions. Michal’s leadership in our program played a critical role in that success.

Particular Services Used
We were presented with a comprehensive notebook containing examples of every announcement, note, bulletin insert, and every piece of printed material to be used in the program. It was an outstanding guide in every sense of the word – yet with Michael’s guidance, it is doubtful the program would have had anywhere near the success it produced.