I believe that Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church, wants all His churches to do well, and fulfil His mission, aka the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20). However, the sad reality is that many churches are unhealthy, and hence, ineffective. I do not believe that churches should remain in this state. Something can be done and must be done. I believe church consultants can point pastors and church leaders in the right direction. This is why I am stepping into the work of church consulting; apart from, what I believe is the Lord’s calling for me in this final lap of my ministry journey.
The work of church consulting (what) is simply and primarily coming alongside pastors and leaders to help them with the development of their churches. It may involve studying the church, providing solutions and assisting the executors in the implementation of those solutions. During this time there might also be a need for the consultant to offer coaching, training and ministry to the leaders and the implementation team in particular, and to the church in general, so that they are empowered to lead the change. I call this the Empowering Process, as shown in Diagram 1 above.
When it comes to helping or consulting a church there is no one size fits all. There is no one solution that will solve the problems of all churches. Every church is different. Each one has its own particular problems that are to be identified through prayer and discernment in the Spirit, and from a studied analysis of the church. This is then followed up with wise custom-made solutions.
If a church has not done a comprehensive church health analysis, it would be a good first step to take. Such an analysis will help to objectively identify the real issues of the church. Notwithstanding, the leadership may determine the area of consultation they require.
Diagram 2 below sets out the Empowering Analytical Process to determine the what and how of the consultation.
The flowchart also details the methodology showing how a study of a church might be done. The first step is always to gather extensive and accurate information. This is done through asking for church data, conducting surveys, audits and interviews, and from personal on-site observations. The information is then studied and analysed, conclusions drawn, and recommendations made to help the church become healthier or, to resolve the defined issue.
(Click on the link to Part 2 below on other aspects of my philosophy of church consulting.)