Churches come in many shapes and sizes – large, small; multi-staff, solo pastor; urban, rural, suburban; young, old; growing, declining.
No matter their shape or size, all churches face times of challenge and struggle. It’s typical. But what is not typical is how churches navigate those challenges. Many churches – perhaps most – struggle along grabbing at flavor-of-the-month ideas and out-of-the-box programs with predictable results. A few churches take a step back to examine and evaluate where they are and how they got there, while comparing their current reality to where God wants them to go and who he wants them to become.
“The church is God’s Plan A and there is no Plan B.”
Jesus was a carpenter’s son and likely a carpenter himself. Out of all the objects Jesus might have crafted, the Bible records only one item which Jesus built – the church. Not a building – but a movement of people, empowered by the Holy Spirit to tell the Gospel story through the generations and around the world until Jesus returns. The church is God’s only plan to bring the good news of his salvation to a dying world. The churches who fully grasp this truth are the ones seeking to identify God’s unique future for their church. Only a few of those churches will take the important step of inviting a seasoned guide to lead them on this journey of discovery.
epic coaching & consulting is uniquely equipped to guide your church toward a future of health, vibrancy, purpose, and vision. Over a period of 4-6 months your consultant will partner with you to:
- Initiate a church-wide emphasis of prayer support for this process.
- Conduct a thorough historical review of your church
- Lead an eyes-wide-open examination of your church systems and culture
- Administer a church health survey
- Obtain a deep-dive demographic report of your community
- Hold a series of personal interviews with church members/attenders
- Present an extensive report of our findings and recommendations
- Establish a Church Health Task Force to implement your discoveries
- Consider additional recommendations and next steps
The church consultation is extremely significant for the local church and the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it should not be entered into lightly or without seeking God’s wisdom, guidance, and protection for the consultant, church leaders, and the church. Prayer is the essential first step in the consultation process.
Much of the historical review consists of collecting documents (minutes, bylaws, policies, reports, statistical analysis, publications, budgets, etc.), answering several specific questions, creating a timeline of significant events, etc. We can learn much about a church’s present situation by looking at its past experiences – high and lows, tenure of pastorates, periods of conflict and whether/how they were resolved, program development, etc.
We will take a fresh look at your operating structures. What does your leadership board and committee structure look like? Who serves on them? How are decisions made and communicated? Who or what is the decision “gate-keeper?” How do these systems serve your mission and vision? What’s impeding your church’s effectiveness? What’s missing?
We recommend the Church Health©Survey by Chuck Lawless and Thom Rainer. This 160-item survey is taken by a representative number of people in your church. It will provide you a clear and actionable picture of the perceived health of your church in the six key purposes of the church as described in Acts 2.42-47.
- Worship: Does your corporate worship time glorify God?
- Prayer: Is there a deep burden and commitment to individual and corporate prayer?
- Discipleship: Are people in the church moving toward deeper levels of spiritual maturity?
- Evangelism: Are people outside the church coming to faith in Christ?
- Ministry: Are existing ministries producing life-changing transformation through the church, the community, and beyond?
- Fellowship: Is there a joyous and united spirit of fellowship in the church?
The Church Health©Survey is especially helpful whenever a church is facing significant transitions of attendance, community demographics, pastoral leadership, or the planning of a new ministry direction. The survey will measure the perceived level of church health and suggest specific ways your church can achieve greater health.
Using the Percept program your church can identify any geographical area surrounding your church and obtain same-day results. The Percept demographic study will yield extensive market-driven research beyond the typical age, ethnic, education information and will include data on community issues and faith preferences to help you design ministry with your target audience in mind.
Onsite Personal Interviews
With all of the data collected from within the church and from outside sources, we will prepare a series of interview questions specific to your church context to guide several days of personal interviews with members and attenders in your church. These on-site interviews will be coupled with a review of the church facility, observing a worship service, and touring the community near your church.
The next step is to present a detailed report based on the culmination of the research. This report will paint a clear picture of where your church has been, and which areas must be addressed for your church toward the vision and mission God has given your church.
Church Health Task Force
At this point the consulting work takes a major turn. We will help you create a Church Health Task Force to begin implementing these recommended actions. Your church board may choose to operate in this capacity. In either case, we are available to help get the processed started.
epic coaching and consultingalways includes post-consult check-ins at 3, 6, and 9 months following the final report presentation. In addition to the consulting services outlined above, we can be available to address significant unresolved issues (conflict resolution, filling staff vacancies, designing effective discipleship tools, etc.) or to provide ongoing coaching with your sr. pastor, staff members, or leadership board.
Ultimately, epic coaching & consulting exists to help your church obtain a level of health which will permit it to have a missional presence in its community.
The late Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, lives on today through his often quoted saying. “The church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.” Rather than seeing your church as a social club for its own good, what would it look like if your church embraced its missionary identity? What if you called your church to be “salt of the earth,” and the “light of the world,” since “a city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.” After all, “no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt 5.13-16).
When we live out our missionary identity as a church and function together as salt of the earth and the light of the world, something happens. We begin to realize that our true citizenship is not on earth, since we are actually “strangers and exiles” here (1 Peter 2.11). When we live against the grain of culture and begin loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us (Matthew 5.44), instead of plotting revenge, the church becomes a “counterculture for the common good.” When we show the world that people from “every nation, tribe, people, and language” (Rev 7.9) can actually worship together, live in community, and serve one another here on earth and not just in heaven, the church becomes “a counterculture for the common good.” In this way, a healthy congregation is truly a “hermeneutic of the gospel.” 1A countercultural church brings the gospel to life and gives the world the opportunity to “taste and see that the LORDis good” (Ps 34.8). Ultimately, a countercultural church opens up doors not only for the gospel to be shown, but also to be proclaimed. 2
1. Leslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 232.
2. Daniel Im, No Silver Bullets (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2017), 145.
epic coaching & consulting is committed to being your partner on this journey of discovery toward becoming a “salt and light” church in your community. Let’s take the first step together! Set up a no-cost initial consult here.
epic coaching & consulting is based in the Seattle, WA area and is primarily available to offer consulting services to churches on the west coast from sunny San Diego, CA to beautiful Vancouver, BC. We are available to provide a thorough and complete church revitalization consultation focusing on developing the healthiest church environment possible. This type of consultation would include the components described above. A custom partial-consultation could be designed utilizing a limited number of the full-consultation components. Partial-consults yield limited results and recommendations because we will not get the full picture a complete consult would reveal.
Other services available from epic coaching & consulting include:
- individual coaching for your staff or leaders
- group coaching for your staff or board
- coaching training for staff, leaders, and ministries
- a comprehensive systems review
- designing an effective discipleship culture in your church
- preparing for transitions and successions
Consulting fees vary depending on multiple factors including church size, scope, travel, and timeframe.
Coaching fees vary based on frequency, location (on-site or virtual), and whether coaching is for a group or individual(s).
Contact Rev. Joe Donaldson for specific prices and fees for your specific needs.