Growth Planning Consultation

The Consulting Network FMCNA provides Growth Planning services to enable local congregations to have a trained church growth consultant make an on site visit to analyze and diagnose the total church program.  The planning process is designed to provide the pastor and church leaders with a clear picture of their present strengths and make recommendations for long range health and vitality.

Growth Planning Process

Local Church Preparation

Prior to the consultant’s visit to a church, a packet of materials will be sent for the church to complete and return at least two weeks before the visit.  These include: 1) A 10-year growth history, 2) a church background questionnaire, 3) a volunteer worker analysis profile, 4) community analysis information and 5 ) various staff worksheets and questionnaires, along with such other data-gathering instruments as may be deemed helpful in light of the church’s unique circumstances.

The consultant will use these instruments in preparation for the on site visit.

Interview with the Staff

The consultant will interview both paid and volunteer staff during the on site visit.  The consultant will discuss the preliminary materials completed by staff members and get information on the life and ministry of the local church, as well as dreams and aspirations for the future of the church.

Interview with Selected Church Leaders and Members

A cross section of the congregation involving 10 to 20 lay leaders and members meet with the consultant for a 90 minute dialogue on their perspective of the life and ministry of the local church.  The consultant may also meet with several other local church boards and committees, depending upon the size of the congregation.

Analysis of the Total Church Program

This analysis of the church, including activities and facilities, occurs throughout the visit in preparation for the consultant’s verbal report at the close of his/her time there.   While the analysis varies from church to church, depending on specific requirements of the situation, the following areas are typically examined for problem diagnosis and recommendations:

  1. Philosophy and style of ministry
  2. Program and personnel
  3. Congregation and community
  4. Priorities and finance
  5. Strengths and possibilities
  6. Critical issues and next steps

Verbal Report to the Congregation

This setting provides an opportunity for others in the congregation to hear the consultant’s initial observations and to give the consultant additional information or responses before he/she writes the final report.

Diagnostic Report and Recommendations

A full written report follows within four to six weeks of the on site visit by the consultant.  The report included the observations and reflections of the consultant and is used as a tool for the local church to develop a long range master plan.  Specific recommendations and alternatives are made for the church to take correcting in areas of weakness and maximize areas of strength.

Cost Description

The cost varies according to the size of the congregation, travel expense, and length of time spent at the church.

Questions answered by the “Growth Planning Consultation”

This personalized service is designed to provide a clear and helpful analysis of your church, with specific recommendations for taking future actions.  (It is not intended to give the process for implementing each suggestion, or to become your five year mater plan.)  It will present you with the necessary data for formulating and launching an effective master plan during a subsequent phase.

The Growth Planning Consultation Service is intended to answer the following basic questions concerning the health and vitality of your church

Who are we

What kind of church are we (location, region, culture, image, age, size, style, structure, etc.)?

What are our limitation and potential in light of our distinct identity?

Where have we come from?

What has been unique about our church (history, growth, people, programs)?

What have been our major milestones?

What is our Purpose?

What is our “philosophy of ministry?”

What are our actual (as well as stated) priorities?

What are our objectives for the future?

How well do we relate with our community?

How similar are our people to those we are attempting to reach?

What is our potential for reaching the various kinds of people living around us?

Which groups of persons are most receptive to the witness of our church?

What are the growth patterns of our church?

Are we growing too fast or too slow?

Are we in good health?

What kind of growth should we expect in the future?

How well are we staffed?

Do we have sufficient number of staff?

Do we have the right kind of staff?

What are the potential problems facing our staff?

What is the status of our present programs?

How effectively are we meeting the needs of our people?

Do we have too few or too many programs for our church’s size?

How well are our people equipped for ministry?

How many persons are not being cared for personally?

How adequate are our facilities?

What effect do they have upon our rate of growth?

Which facilities will need to be improved or expanded during the next five years?

How well are we doing financially?

How reasonable is our present level of indebtedness?

What limitations or potential do we have in regards to our present overall resources?

Fifteen Reasons for scheduling a growth planning consultation in your local church

  1. An evaluation by an outside consultant provides you with greater objectivity.
  2. The growth planning service provides you with a sufficient data base to carry our realistic long range planning and goal setting.
  3. You will receive an objective evaluation of your strengths and potential.
  4. You will be exposed to the latest state-of-the-art church growth principles.
  5. You will be able to develop “Church growth Eyes”;  you will see more and understand more of what is happening in your church.
  6. You will understand more dearly why God wants (and will bring) growth for His church.
  7. The growth planning process will provide a new awareness for many concerning their place in His church.
  8. You will understand more dearly your basic purpose and philosophy of ministry.
  9. You will be able to strengthen your staff relationships with each other and with your congregation.

10.  You will be better able to find those who can be most readily reached by your congregation.

11.  The consultation will assist you in aligning your present resources (time, talent, treasure, facilities, etc.) with:

a. Your stated priorities

b. The undiscovered gifts of your congregation

c   The potential in your community

12. You will receive professional support and clarification for what you have been attempting to             communicate.

13.            The consultation will help you to discover bottlenecks that are restricting growth.

14.            You will be able to make practical application of church growth principles.

15.            The consultation will help you to clarify your present “people flow” (why people come, stay, leave,             or increase their involvement) strengths, and how to build upon these.