Often times, consulting projects are only the beginning of a relationship between a consultant and a ministry. Most churches who hire consultants are facing challenges, goals, or missions that are complex, multi-layered, and impact numerous people regardless of the size of the church itself. A mistake a consultant can make when helping a church is trying to do much in too short a time, trying to tackle all of the subsystems of a church by going deep as well as wide. This can be done to an extent, however, unless a consultant is being brought in for a specific project, the best a consultant can offer is a clear overview of the challenges being faced with some broad stroke initiatives that can serve as a starting point of change (Greiner & Poulfelt, 2010).
The goal of every consultant should be to go deeper rather than wider if the goal is to truly help ministry leaders be effective in their God-given vision and mission. Block (2011) suggests starting with the question, “What do we want to create together?”. First, this begins the process at a point of relationship. Consultants are not supposed to be saviors who float into the situation, throw around jargon, charts, and ideas, and then float out with no concern for implementation success. Consultants who truly care about the success of ministry leaders desire a relationship with their clients where breadth is addressed through multiple deep dives into the possibilities of the church’s vision and mission. So, initially, a consultant may give a broad overview report of big idea changes that need to be implemented, but for quality implementation, this should serve as an open door to follow-up conversation and consulting endeavors to dive deep into various challenges, initiatives, and projects that help ministry leaders successfully accomplish the Great Commission.
Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting: a guide to getting your expertise used (3rd ed). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
Greiner, L. E., & Poulfelt, F. (Eds.). (2010). Management consulting today and tomorrow: perspectives and advice from 27 leading world experts. New York: Routledge.