Under Michael’s steady leadership, we launched a campaign that captured the hearts of the congregation and allowed us to pledge more than we ever imagined; and then we collected more than we pledged. When the time came to begin reducing the remaining debt, Michael was the choice of our leadership to shepherd us through a second, more difficult campaign. Michael’s strengths are in helping pastors and congregations craft a compelling narrative of vision and need alongside a plan to challenge those within the congregation to prayerfully and faithfully give to that plan and vision.
Parkway Heights United Methodist Church
When facing the prospect of our first significant capital campaign our leadership team was uncertain as to whether we should hire a consultant to help guide us through the process. After much discussion, and interviewing potential companies, we decided to hire Transforming Christian Ministries. It was a decision we have not regretted. Rick Vilardo was our consultant throughout the process, guiding us through the selection of team leaders, coaching our teams, and customizing the program to the uniqueness of our congregation… Most importantly, Rick grounds the campaign on the mission and vision of the church and who we are called to be in Christ. From day one the campaign was rooted in prayer, outreach, and a Biblical model of stewardship.
Dr. Christopher Schmidt
Parrish United Methodist Church
We called on Michael for guidance and support and could not have been more pleased. He listened to us and sought to understand our unique vision and goals before suggesting a strategy. The end result was pledges of two and a half times our annual budget. We had a great experience and continue to have an ongoing conversation with Michael.
I was a little curious at first if we could find a consultant who could work with our church culture. We’re in a post-Christian, urban context and have a lot of young people (some of whom have been burned by ways churches talk about money). But because TCM’s approach adapts to the language and culture of the local congregation and because it’s based on Kingdom values, it can translate to any ministry context. The deeply prayerful, collaborative approach engaged even our younger and less engaged folks… I was deeply appreciative of Michael and Rick. Having had decades of ministry experience between them, they not only understand how churches function, they have a pastoral approach to their work. They guided us through the process with warmth and care, answering questions carefully, responding to needs as they arose.
Lead Pastor, University Christian Church
Michael Vilardo has been instrumental in the growth of the Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church endowment. In the few years we have contracted with Michael to educate and nurture church members with regard to leaving a legacy through the endowment program, the endowment has grown by over $13 million. While Michael would be the first to say that it is not only because of his work with church members, we know that as he partners with us to communicate how giving to the endowment strengthens ministry today as well as ensures it for the future, his leadership has been invaluable, and part of the successful growth that we celebrate today. Michael will be an asset to all who are seeking to start an endowment program, or are interested in taking their endowment program to the next level!
The Rev. Doug Johns
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church
Mike’s work, advice, and competent leadership as a consultant enabled our church to experience great success in back-to-back capital campaigns (in a down economy even!) If you are looking for a trusted consultant with a fantastic track record then Michael Vilardo is your guy!
Senior Minister, Whitewater Crossing Christian Church
The public launch of our church’s capital stewardship program was planned for the evening of Sept. 11, 2001. As I drove to work that morning and first reports of the horror happening in New York City began to be reported, I not only shared the shock of the nation, but wondered whether we should (or could) move forward with our campaign. As we weighed and prayed our way through what to do, I was thankful to have not just a consultant, but a friend, to walk with us through the challenge. It’s one thing to have someone who effectively knows how to coach a program. It’s another to have someone who also becomes a vital friend. Michael Vilardo brought encouragement, faith, experience and humble spirit to our process. The crisis of Sept. 11 was seized as a great opportunity for our church, and resulted in a highly successful outcome.
Executive Minister, Christ’s Church at Mason