What happens in a consultation?
I am thinking about a church in a Southern diocese, which had all kinds of growth taking place around it (e.g. new homes going up), but it wasn’t growing. The bishop of the diocese asked me to meet with their Bishop’s committee and church leaders. We met over a three day period. Upon my return I sent them and the bishop a long report. I haven’t returned, but have consulted with the Bishop and Canon-to-the-Ordinary. I know that a great deal has happened. They have made many changes to the church to make it more attractive and most important of all they have started a leadership transition that is more oriented toward mission. Their leaders have also attended Start-Up Start-Over and that has helped them a great deal.
A medium-sized church was stuck. If felt flat to the rector and to the members. It felt the same to me. I went there on two occasions. We had an “Assets Identification” workshop, and they re-discovered their passion for youth ministry. They also figured out a way through their conflict over contemporary music. At the same time the leaders decided to make some key staff changes. This church has rediscovered their purpose and passion for ministry.
After a devastating flood a church faced the question about moving out toward the higher part of town where the growth was, or rebuilding and staying put. I went in about three times. Partly I was working them on their own post-traumatic issues, and then we worked on how to think about mission. They decided to stay and in the process rediscovered vision and energy for mission.