Dr. Ray Ellis, Director of Church Consulting Network FMCNA
Cluster Consultation

Cluster Consultation Strategy
Led by Dr. Ray Ellis
Director of Consulting Network, FMCNA

The cluster consultation strategy is a unique consulting process to provide growth-training opportunities for pastors of churches averaging 40 to 250 in morning worship attendance.  The training provided will assist pastors to take advantage of proven methodologies used to remove growth barriers and empower key leadership in their local congregations.

The cluster consultation is not a quick fix.  It is structured to cover ten months participation with five-cluster meeting during the ten-month time-line.  Each session has five hours of teaching time (9:00 AM – 3:00 PM).  Assignments are given to each participant to be completed between meeting times with accountability and checkpoints built into the process.  Pastors are teamed up in groups of two to coach and encourage each other during the duration of the cluster consultation.  The trainer also does an onsite visit to each participating church over a weekend to make observations and coaching suggestions.  In some conferences it may be desired to have the cluster sessions in five consecutive months.

This training program is not for pastors who are looking for a generic program, but rather for pastors who are willing to commit to an individualized program that the cluster consultation provides.

PURPOSE: To provide training for pastors of churches averaging 40-350, who are interested in church revitalization and growth strategies/ This resourceful program provides an effective means to link professional church growth expertise to churches at affordable rates.

COST: To make the cluster consultation cost effective there needs to be five to eight participating churches.  For the five sessions each church would pay $1000.00 or $200.00 per session.  This amount would include an on site visit on a Saturday and Sunday for each participating church. The Conference would cover the travel expenses of $2,000 for the five sessions.  Each church could pay for the $1,000 in five installments of $200.00 per session.

POSSIBLE OUTCOMES: Coaching the pastor through a planning process to gain congregational ownership for developing a unique growth strategy, designed to meet their specific cultural, denominational, and local needs. Broad based congregational “ownership” of growth strategies, leading to increased commitment and implementation.


Session One:  Helping Your Congregation Reach Its Full Potential

  • The Pastor’s Personal Development
  • Generating Spiritual Energy
    • Corporate Intercession
    • Prayer triplets (100 Days of Prayer)
    • Spiritual Disciplines
Session Two: Developing a Shared Ministry Vision
  • Strategic Spiritual Journey
  • People of Vision
  • People of Position
  • Strategic Spiritual Journey
  • Understanding the Life-Cycle of a Congregation
 Session Three: Developing Effective Leaders
  • Mobilizing
  • Mentoring
Session Four: Accelerating People Flow
  • People Flow Strategy
  • Lifestyle Evangelism
Session Five: Cultivating Congregational Ownership
  • Developing a Master Plan
  • Managing & Communicating Change
TRAINER Dr. Ray W. Ellis
2009 Summary of Work Experience
  • Seventeen years as senior pastor and church planter in Kansas and Michigan
  • Eight years as Conference Superintendent in Florida
  • Nine years as Director of Evangelism and Church Growth for the Free Methodist Church of North America
  • Presently serving as Senior Pastor of the Willow Vale Community Church, a Free Methodist Congregation in San Jose, CA
  • Presently serves as Chairman of the Sierra Pacific Conference Board of Evangelism, Member of the Conference Ministerial Education & Guidance Board and Ministerial Appointment Committee
  • Presently serving as the Director of the Free Methodist Church of North America Consulting Network under the Board of Bishops
  • Presently serving as mentor to students of Fuller Seminary Campus in Menlo Park, CA
  • Served as President of the American Society for Church Growth, 1999 & 2000.
  • Actively involved in leading training seminars, training denominational church consultants and leading conference and local church consultations for churches of various sizes throughout the United States.

Post-graduate training with the Fuller Institute of Evangelism in Pasadena, CA. Certified as a Church Growth Consultant by the Fuller Institute in 1985.
Received the Master of Divinity  (1963) and Doctor of Church Ministry degrees from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY.  (1980)
 Received Bachelor of Arts degree from Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois 1960
 Received the Associate of Arts degree from Central College in McPherson, Kansas, 1958

Director of Consultant Training Free Methodist Church North America 1989-2009
President of the American Society for Church Growth, 1999-2000
Chairman of the Evangelism Commission, Christian Holiness Partnership 1985-2000
Board of Directors of Men’s Ministries International Free Methodist Church 1997 to 2009
Secretary, Treasurer of the International Institute for the Advancement of Missional Leadership Team 2002 to present

Strategizing for New Church Development – Manual
Churches Planting Churches – Manual
How to Plant a Free Methodist Church – Manual
Great Commission Growth Manual – Self Analysis & Growth Planning for the Local Church
Training and Equipping for Lifestyle Evangelism  - Manual
National Association of Evangelism, Editor, Evangelism Digest 1997, Church Revitalization, Getting Ready for the 21st Century.
American Society for Church Growth, Article in Professional Journal, "Spiritual Factors Impacting Church Health and Growth in the 21st Century." 2007