Church Consulting: Why I Dislike the Label

Church Consulting: Why I Dislike the Label

I don’t like the term “church consulting.”

Yes, it’s on my website. There’s a simple reason for that: Church leaders aren’t searching the web for “ministry health assessments” or “strategic planning,” though I wish they would. That would mean those things were top of mind — but for most pastors, they aren’t.


Without the term “church consulting” you probably wouldn’t find us, and what we do can help you. We have to speak the language church leaders know and use.

But if I had my way, here are some of the ways I would explain what we do at The Unstuck Group:

  • We help you process the true state of your church right now, bringing into focus the issues you’ve become blind or numb to.
  • We get church leaders talking about the elephant in the room that everybody is afraid to talk about (or everybody is only talking about in hushed tones behind closed doors). Our “consultants” are really good at extracting meaningful discussions. They lead you in the right conversations to help your team rally together around the vision and actions needed to get your church unstuck.
  • We help you articulate and give specifics to where God has called your church to go. Vision clarity is a buzzword that people make far more complicated than it should be. Where are you now? Where are you headed? How are you going to get there? We help you answer those questions as a team, so everyone’s on the same page.
  • We shine light on the God-given strengths of every member of the staff and help fit the puzzle pieces together so that each person can thrive in their area of ministry and the staff can function as a cohesive team. We help church leaders understand each other better. 
  • We stick with you, as an extension of your staff. Strategic plans are fluid. They need to be revisited and updated on an ongoing basis. We know churches struggle with executing their plans, and we’re constantly trying to find ways to help them succeed. We think you’ll find us to be one of the cheapest yet most experienced and strategic members of your team.

We do this with a structured process: a Ministry Health Assessment, a Strategic Planning Retreat, a Staffing & Structure Review, and ongoing Action Phase coaching.

So, really, as you can see, church consulting is a stiff term. It doesn’t even get at the heart of the matter.

But if it helps more churches find the help they need to get unstuck, we’ll keep using it. The ultimate goal for us is that you see unprecedented life change at your church.

One more thing: Most of our consultants are still on staff full-time at a local church.

We didn’t burn out on local church ministry and decide to get into consulting. We are in touch with what pastors are going through on a daily basis. Clients often comment that our team is full of “normal people.” We like to take that as a good thing.

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By |2017-02-09T13:52:23+00:00September 27th, 2016|Misc|0 Comments

About the Author:

Tony is Chief Strategic Officer at The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, he served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He’s written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and

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