In his book, The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni asserts that organizational health trumps every other advantage, resource, or asset for an organization. This truth can be transformative for leaders and churches in particular if we are willing to embrace it.
No church can or needs to be the biggest, most technologically savvy, have the best worship, best staff, best location, best facility, or a host of other ‘bests.’ Rather, to be effective and to have an advantage in reaching and serving people, churches need to simply strive to be the healthiest they can be.
Churches do not need to be the ‘best’ at anything; they simply need to be healthy.
Healthy things grow. Healthy things produce value. Healthy things make all the other stuff around them more healthy.
Healthy things grow.
Toxic things may grow for a season, but ultimately they produce nothing but pain, suffering, and disease. Toxic things hurt all the stuff around them.
Healthy churches have healthy leaders. Healthy churches protect the health of their leaders. Healthy churches make everyone that is a part of them better.
No one wants to be a part of something that is unhealthy, especially a church. People may visit and even join an unhealthy church, but they won’t stick around. The few people who hang on in unhealthy churches are often part of the reason that the church remains unhealthy. Conversely, when a church is healthy, it tends to scare away and crowd out the toxicity.
Healthy churches make disciples and reach people. Healthy churches have a positive impact on their community. Healthy churches never have to worry about reputation. Healthy churches cause their people to grow and reach those outside the church.
Being effective as a church is not rocket science; it’s a matter of health. Money and other resources are not required for health. Any church can have the true advantage if they are willing to do the work to find and keep lasting and transformational health.
The health of churches and leaders is our main priority. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can help your church or its leaders find lasting and transformational health.
We offer a variety of consulting services through our church and leader health initiatives as well as through our church revitalization work.
Why Use a Consultant?
Hiring a consultant can be intimidating. In the church, we often do not want to admit that we are in need of help. We struggle to trust outside voices. We struggle with any kind of criticism of the church we love. We do not want someone to come in and uncover our dirty laundry.
While all of these fears are understandable and real, a consultant can be a huge asset to a church. Having an outside set of eyes who comes in without bias or an agenda can be a life-giving experience for a congregation. We often do not know what we do not know. We cannot fully see the joys and challenges of our culture. As one fish said to another, “how do you like the water today?” To which the second fish responded, “what is water?” We do not always fully see or understand the water in which we swim. Outside perspectives can give us greater vision.
Extra Eyes are Critical
The truth is that we simply cannot see all of the joys, challenges, and opportunities in our church organizations without extra outside eyes. The fish does not realize the vastness of the ocean it swims in. The frog boiled slowly in the pot has no idea what is happening.
Often, the biggest challenge in any church is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We simply cannot fully see the culture in which we are swimming. Outside eyes help churches to see what they cannot on their own. Outside eyes bring perspective, shining a light on things we might have missed. Outside eyes bring experience, experience, ideas, and education we do not have. To be the healthiest version of ourselves, we employ experts all the time: medical doctors, nutritionists, private trainers, coaches, etc. A consultant can help your church be healthier and more effective, leading to greater impact and longevity.
Perspective is Powerful
We underestimate the power of perspective. The beauty of the Kingdom of God is that God has given us diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences. Bringing in a consultant gives a different perspective that can help your church see and operate in different ways even if you do not agree with the consultant or employ all of their suggestions. Perspective shapes our thoughts, words, and actions much more than we are willing to admit. Perspective is powerful and often the best perspectives come from those outside the system and community. They simply see what we do not.
Support is Crucial
We were never meant to do it alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength. We are better because we have each other. Any church that wants to find greater health and maintain health needs support from both inside and outside the system. While God often brings the people to the church it needs, there simply are things that a congregation cannot do with a little outside help. The truth is that we listen to outsiders more clearly than insiders. Every parent has experienced the moment where one of their kids listened to the advice of a friend, teacher, or coach over the advice of their parent even when the advice was identical! Outside voices validate some of what we already know and add information we have not had.
Leading an effective, healthy church today is not easy, and in most cases, outside assistance and resources are needed. There are so many resources for churches that it is often hard to find, know, and evaluate them all. A consultant can be a source of support and also point churches to other resources and support they may need.
We encourage congregations to use consultant services whenever possible, regardless of the issues or needs they may be facing. Proactivity is best, and we are glad to assist where we can as well as point you to other resources when we are not able to help.
Our Consultation Process
The consulting process can be a gift to any congregation. Our consulting process is tailored to the context and around the specific type of consultation (vision, conflict, etc.). While the process is contextualized, we do have a universal process we use for every consolation. It consists of three steps.
Every consultation includes some level of assessment. This assessment is done by experienced, educated coaches who have vast and diverse experience. The methods used in each assessment vary based on the context or type of assessment. Interviews, surveys, forums, and research, as well as other tools are utilized. The assessment is meant to be neutral and comprehensive, free of agenda or assumptions. Ultimately, the goal of any assessment is to give a church as much information as possible for health, effectiveness, and longevity. The process of assessment for each consultation will be explained in detail to the church leaders and congregation members.
The next step is to take the data from the assessment along with all of the other data we have and make recommendations to the church. These recommendations are contextualized to the type of consultation, the church context, as well as the long-term goals, hopes, and dreams of the congregation. Recommendations are often broken down by category and priority. We work hard to make sure there is a clear “why” behind each recommendation. We try not to make any recommendation we are not certain about, but because we are not perfect, we are not always right about everything. It is up to the church to decide what to do with the recommendations. We recommend, yet you decide.
We prefer to not just make recommendations and disappear forever. Nothing can be more frustrating to a church and a consultant to do all this work and do nothing with it. Doing so often leads to another consultation down the road that is ignored. To prevent this, the third step of our consultation process is to provide support. We want to help congregations act on the information we have shared and more as they seek to find God’s will for them. We offer as much support for the congregation as possible. Some of this support is included in the original proposal but other support is not. The support is not limited to our organization. We will always recommend the best resources to congregations, even if that is not our ministry or one of our partners. When our ministry or one of our partners can be helpful, we do include those options for support in our recommendations, but we will always gladly point churches to other organizations if they desire so that they have as many options as possible.
The goal of the support component of our process is to help the congregation act on the recommendations (whether that is to embrace it, reject it, or modify it). Our deepest desire is for congregations to be as healthy as possible, make disciples- building the kingdom and to discern what the Holy Spirit is calling them to do and be.
Asking for outside help is scary, intimidating, and even discouraging at times. Yet, we were never meant to do this thing called church alone and having someone come in from the outside can be deeply transformative.
Our Services Offered
Church Health Consultation An assessment of the health of a church using the habits of healthy churches. Includes a 2-4 day onsite visit, virtual meetings, and surveys.
Church Revitalization Support Consultation A consultation to assess the needs of a church seeking revitalization.
Crisis/Conflict Intervention Crisis or conflict intervention is provided for churches struggling with a significant conflict or crisis to include assessment, recommendations, and implementation support.
Transition Services Support is provided for churches experiencing significant transition such as leadership, denomination, or mission/vision transition.
Racial Reconciliation Consult A multi-cultural team provides contextualized support for churches working to address racism or racial reconciliation in their church or community.
Other Contextualized Services as needed.
Partner Services Offered
- Consulting Services Consulting services for churches, schools, non-profits, and other organizations. General consulting assessments or specific consulting services are offered. Consultation services include:
- General organizational evaluation and consultation
- Staff structure and hiring consultations
- Values, mission, vision consultations
- Strategic plan consultations
- Conflict consultations
- Other specialized consultations
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