Pastor as church consultant: Training benefits home churches and others
- Rebecca Barnes
Being a church consultant sometimes means consulting with the church where you are the pastor as well. For leaders of smaller congregations (200-300 members or less), wearing more than one hat is more common than not. So it is naturalâ€”even a healthy outgrowth of a drive to minister effectivelyâ€”for a pastor to be interested in consulting and church health.
Many of you reading this site on a regular basis do so because you are interested in helping churches. And for some of you, those churches are the ones you serve as pastor. We know that you already enjoy the free resources on Church Central: the articles on how churches can best fulfill their purposes, the blogs on current issues facing churches and ministers, the book reviews, and the information about church suppliers.
We also know that some of you have taken the next step in working toward better health in your congregation by attending Church Consultant Training. Now, the Society for Church Consulting is offering pastors even more.
New educational campaign
The Society has announced an educational campaign in which pastors can learn consulting best practices for the benefit of their own churches.
"We want to equip ministers, pastors, administrators and other church leaders to do the hard work of church revitalization," said Tom Harper, president of the Society. According to Harper, that equipping is not only for the benefit of a pastorâ€™s own church. Once ministers are trained as consultants and armed with the best practices of church health, they are also prepared to help other congregations.
"Sometimes pastors have issues in their own congregations, but weâ€™ve seen many leaders reach out to help neighboring churches too," Harper said.
While the Societyâ€™s mission is "to revitalize churches through a network of certified consultants," the training offered to pastors is an extension of this mission.
"Hundreds of church leaders have gone through the training simply to benefit their own churches. Some of these pastors plan on retiring soon, and they want to start up new consulting ministries to help younger leaders," said Harper.
The Societyâ€™s next four-level training conference is Nov. 6-8 in Louisville, Ky., at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. More information is available at www.churchconsultation.org.