By: Jeff Patton
I often wonder why would any pastor or congregation ever think about inviting a church consultant to their congregation. In my travels I am often asked by people on the airplane what a do for a living. Most are usually amazed that this vocation exists. Some are simply dumbfounded, “you mean churches even think about quality, improvement?”
It occurs to me that some of you who lurk on these pages might also be a bit dumbfounded, thinking similar questions. Like why would EBA exist at all? And why would any congregation ever spend the money (don’t tell me it isn’t the main obstacle to overcome) to have a consultant visit your congregation?
So I thought I would give you three good reasons for helping you discern if you need a consultant.
First Reason. Growth. Your congregation is growing and dreaming new dreams and you aren’t sure what to do next. You are facing some great problems like space, staff, parking, and you want to make sure that this congregation is ready and able to be all that your dreams are leading you to. Or perhaps you have crossed one of those attendance barriers and you need to retool for the next stage.
I find this reason to be the most compelling reason for having a consultant. At the same time, this reason often presents the largest obstacles to get over. If things are growing, why mess with it? Why bring someone in who might ruin it? If we got this far without anyone’s help, we can certainly get to the next stage without their help.
Second Reason. Declining. The congregation is stuck, not growing, or showing signs of decline (like a 10% loss in worship attendance in the last quarter). You know this congregation could grow but you don’t know how to get it there, and you find yourself more frustrated each day. All the things that worked last year don’t work today, and the biggest contributors have just announced they are leaving.
Third Reason. Crisis. Your congregation is in the midst of crisis …the pastor left for whatever reason; the staff resigned; the building burnt down; the town has changed; more people are upset than ever before; there is no vision/mission; the vision has change. Or you just frankly don’t know what to do next to get through this crisis.
If you have any of these situations you might be helped by bringing in a consultant to work with you. Here at EBA, we have a money back guarantee on the fees. We can say this has never happened.
As one pastor said to one of our consultants after a consultation, “this was the best money this church has ever spent.” It could be like that for you too!