What’s Involved in a Consultation?

Engaging a consultation process is not to be taken lightly. No matter how good or gentle a consultant is, the fact that a relative stranger is coming to evaluate the church and to make recommendations is stress-inducing. Then there’s the reality that if you shell out good money for a professional diagnosis, prognosis, and prescription you will have to either embark on a course that means change (and congregational stress) or else flush the money you’ve invested.

Every consulting firm … and every individual consultant in these firms … approach consultations differently. However, they will probably ask for:

  • Church Documents: These may include your mission statement, core values, bylaws, job descriptions, written history of the church, recent newsletters, bulletins, etc.
  • Historical Data: This may include average attendance for worship services, Sunday school classes, small groups, budgets, expenditures, receipts/income, fund records, etc.
  • Leadership Surveys: Your church leaders may be asked to complete a number of surveys, provide job descriptions, and so on.
  • Congregational Surveys: Your congregation may be asked to complete a number of surveys, provide congregational demographic information, etc.
  • Community Demographics

Once the consultation begins, you can expect the following:

  • Interviews with the Lead Pastor and staff.
  • Interviews with church leaders.
  • Interviews with some congregational members.
  • Touring the church facilities and the community.
  • Presentations. Sometimes these presentations are for selected leaders, sometimes for all the leaders, and sometimes for the whole congregation.

In the end, you should receive a written report with the consultation findings. This report should include the recommendations and should also offer some sort of plan for their implementation.

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