As Christians, we look to the next world while doing our work in this one, but is your church working as effectively as it could be? According to many Christian leaders – such as Dr. Tim Keller – the church today is stuck.
We get caught on binary expectations – huge growth or loss of faith communities, assimilation or rigid communities of belief – when we should be seeking missionary encounters. But how do we change? And should we?
Change is necessary for the church to survive, but it needs to come from a place of experience and from people with fresh eyes. That means combining an understanding of the world of the church with outsiders from your community.
Consultants may be the answer.
There are about as many kinds of consultants out in the world as there are traditional jobs – if you can take on a role from within a business or organization, you can do it as an outsider, sharing expertise. That’s why you’ll find consultants that offer green business trainings, work-life balance courses, and far more unusual offerings. There are even consultants who teach people how to become consultants!
With this in mind, then, it should come as no surprise that there are many different consultants available who can help you grow your church programs and develop stronger ministries. From children’s and family programming to financial planning for churches, consider bringing one of these consulting groups into the mix to refresh your faith community. You might be surprised what you learn.
One of the most important things that churches need to do to succeed in today’s increasingly secular world is to seek deeper engagement with the established community. One way to do this is by placing an increasing emphasis on stewardship among our congregations, both from the perspective of financial stewardship and commitments of time and abilities. But how?
The Unstuck Group can help your congregation develop a stewardship plan that centers generosity of spirit and financial giving by demonstrating what outstanding stewardship of community resources can do. From spreading the Gospel to social action to new worship resources, our communities stagnate when we fail to use our wealth wisely.
Other churches might benefit from the help of Wealth with Purpose, a targeted consulting group focused on marketing, funding, and business-style planning for ministries. They can also help you build and grow new ministries and reduce your church’s debt. Wealth with Purpose takes standard consulting practices and puts them to work for Christian communities.
Of course, it isn’t enough for your church to focus on the existing community – very few congregations today are big enough to remain as they are. Rather, because most churches need to grow in order to make ends meet and because evangelizing is one of our commitments as Christians, we need to open our doors wider in order to live our faith to the fullest.
Unfortunately, few congregations understand how to evangelize effectively, but that’s where consultants come in. Groups like Ministry Architects can help you develop a strategic plan for your congregation, whether for select ministries or for your broader development.
In the past, Ministry Architects specialized in youth and family ministries, an area that still requires a special emphasis, as children and teens need appropriate religious experiences and strong programs to develop lifelong faith.
Finally, many churches are still lagging behind when it comes to building digital communications programs and marketing their ministries. It’s not surprising – as church leadership and congregations age, the demand and skills needed to go digital just aren’t there. But if we hope to grow our churches, we need to get online.
Pastor Pete Wilson’s The A Group brings marketing support to churches, ministry groups, and other non-profits that may be struggling to be seen by those outside, and with 14 years as a pastor, Wilson brings a unique lens to the process. His combination of outsider and insider perspective shapes how he solves ministry marketing problems, letting him put client needs in perspective while understanding their cultural framework. It’s an ideal balance.
Running a church isn’t quite the same as running a business, but much of the strategic planning and development that goes into evangelizing and developing community are similar to practices used in business – so don’t knock consultants before you give them a shot. The future of business is in the hands of consultants, and the same could be said about the future of your church.