Church Consulting – 4 Phase Planning Process – The Unstuck Group2018-06-12T16:09:58+00:00

How We Serve Your Church

Our process is designed to help you lead your church towards sustained health and growth. 

We facilitate a 4 Phase Planning Process that helps you clarify where God’s called your church to go and how you’re going to get there. 

We also understand churches of different sizes have different strengths and challenges. That’s why we right-size this process to your church’s needs. We’ve worked with churches from under 100 to 20,000+ in average attendance and everything in between.


ASSESS – Start with an outside perspective.

Wise planning starts with truly understanding where you are now. With a Ministry Health Assessment, you get a current snapshot of your ministry’s health—and importantly, a better understanding of what it’s like for a first-time guest to connect with your church. Your team will get a fresh perspective that sets you up for more effective planning.

Here’s how the Ministry Health Assessment works:

You’ll take two online assessments, which will be analyzed by our team, to start your journey off with a new perspective. The Vital Signs tool gives you objective health data based on more than 14 key metrics. The Unstuck Church Assessment helps you pinpoint where your church is in its life cycle today.

The senior pastor will meet with your consultant to talk about the ministry history, future objectives, strategy and staff leadership.

Your consultant will facilitate a group conversation with the leadership team to assess current ministry systems and strategies.

Your consultant will provide a “secret shopper” visit during a Sunday morning service to report observations on your various ministry environments through the eyes of a first-time guest. The post-visit report provides scoring in all key areas of the weekend experience, benchmarking against our data from other churches across the country.

The senior pastor and your consultant will schedule a virtual session to review the weekend experience secret shopper report and discuss next steps in preparation for Phase 2 of the planning process, your strategic planning retreat.


PLAN – Build a focused strategy and action plan to fulfill the vision.

In this phase, you gain a system to align all programs, ministries, and functions through a clear action plan for the next 12 months. Each step logically and systematically builds on the next, blending together the strategic (planning for tomorrow, today), operational (managing today, today) and financial (managing today’s resources) aspects of your ministry.

At a Strategic Planning Retreat, you will:

  • Determine the core issues your ministry is facing today.

  • Capture external community and demographic trends.

  • Review the life cycle of each ministry area and supporting core systems.

  • Create a list of future initiatives and assess them through an opportunity-risk analysis.

  • Confirm a profile of the primary person your church is trying to reach. Identify that person’s top values and assess the church’s ability to impact each one.

  • Confirm mission and establish a five-year vision for the church with specific and measurable objectives.

  • Confirm team values that shape the culture of your ministry.

  • Identify the church’s core “growth engines” for driving both numerical and spiritual growth, and develop a ministry health dashboard to monitor key performance indicators, health drivers and risk-constraints.

  • Establish an action plan for the next 12 months that identifies a focused set of initiatives.


STRUCTURE – Align your staff and structure to your vision and strategy.

With a clear vision in place and core strategies outlined, you can easily see gaps in your staff team. From org charts, to job descriptions, to governance and leadership development, this process will help your church staff to its vision, positioning your team structure to best fit both the ministry and the individuals involved.

Here’s what a Staffing & Structure Review looks like:

Again, we start with perspective. We’ll ask your leaders to complete an online strengths assessment that reveals the unique gifts, personalities and passions you have on your team.

We will facilitate a group session to share insights on the strengths of your team and how you can work better together. Churches routinely tell us this was a staff favorite from the whole process.

We facilitate a mix of exercises and conversations to assess and/or clarify core issues around team health, decision rights, staffing guiding principles, team values and leadership capacity.

We’ll review the church’s vision, discipleship path and multisite strategy (if applicable) in order to form a foundation for a revised staffing structure. We’ll also provide an executive summary outlining a recommended structure, realignment of current staff, identification of gaps and priorities for future hiring, and actions you can take now to improve staff health and culture.

After you receive your structure recommendations, your consultant will schedule a session with the senior pastor to process decisions together and help you begin implementing next steps.


ACTION – Execute your plans and lead change.

Your planning process needs to incorporate timelines, deadlines and evaluation. The Action Phase of our process helps you win as you lead change for the long haul. Strategic plans are never static. As you complete your action initiatives, it’s important to renew your plan to determine what must change and to re-establish what’s important now.

The Action Phase will give you:

  • Continued team alignment and focus on what needs to change and what’s important now after you’ve completed your first round of action initiatives.

  • Ongoing accountability, support and resources for leading change.

  • Quarterly Checkpoint calls with our Ministry Consultants culminate in an on-site Plan Renewal Retreat that will help you keep your church focused on the vision and energized for action.

We help churches get unstuck.

Let’s start a conversation. We’d like to hear your heart and tell you more about ours. We can share details about our process and what you can expect to get out of it.

Start a Conversation

(Need a few more questions answered first? We understand that, too.
Read about The Unstuck Way and check out our FAQs.)