Consultants. Strategists. Coaches. Each of these roles serve the purpose of helping organizations and leaders assess organizational health, structure for the future, strategically plan, and so much more. Yet church leaders tend to hesitate bringing someone in for consultation. Here are five reasons I have heard pastors give for not bringing in a consultant:
Can’t Afford It. Bringing in a consultant is an investment. The costs range depending on level of service and credibility of the consultant. There are ministry consultants who charge 1500 dollars a day or upwards of 30-100k to work with churches. I started Breakthrough Ministry Consulting to ensure churches of all sizes have the same quality service at affordable prices. In fact, most of my services have been free to those who need it. If your church is serious about needing help, help is available.
Don’t Want to Share Information. One of the hardest parts about consulting a church is getting the right information to make the right consultation. Church leaders are very protective of sensitive information such as financial status, personnel matters, and areas of conflict or tension. I have discovered, when there is secrecy, sin is somewhere in the vicinity. Keeping pertinent information secret is like going to a doctor, asking for cough medicine but not telling him you have an excruciating pain in your leg. Be honest so that you can get the help you actually need. A good consultant will keep your business confidential.
Trying to Do It Yourself. Why hire a consultant when you can just go to a conference and get information or Google the answers to your question? You can do it but remember, a consultant worth his or her pay has received training, experience and exposure that establishes them as an authority. Remember the classic episode of The Cosby Show when Denise tried to make Theo a designer shirt? Remember how it turned out? Allow someone with expertise to come in and help your church or you could end up making matters worse.
The Consultant Doesn’t Have a Big Name. People are hesitant to take advice from someone who has never achieved anything. Rightfully so. But not all achievements are public knowledge. Unfortunately, many churches will look for guidance from sources that are far beyond where they are or will likely be. When I pastored a small, family church on the Eastside of San Antonio, Texas, I used to take leaders to the TD Jakes leadership conference. Great preaching and worship, and time of fellowship but in the long run, nothing I took from there actually helped the church I pastored. Often times we give more credibility to those who are on top instead of those who understand exactly where we are. Find a consultant who knows your name or is willing to learn it.
You Know It All. It does no good to bring someone in if the pastor or leadership rejects every idea, suggestion, or feedback. If the pastor or staff can’t be taught, therein lies the greatest problem. No one knows everything and we all can be inspired. A good consultant will not only bring in fresh and new ideas but will inspire the pastor and leadership to dream. The best part of what I do is seeing pastors and church staff revived and excited about what God is doing.
What other reasons would you add to this list? What’s keeping your church from using a consultant?
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