What happens to churches that engage a consultant? Do they decline, revitalise, or plateau?This research tracks the journey of ten churches in the five years after a consultancy (John Mark Ministries model) to see whether the consultancy may have impacted their growth and their health or vitality (more on this aspect in subsequent posts).
There are many factors that may contribute to a church's vitality and growth. However, as is evident from the graph, seven of the ten churches that form this study grew. Five of these grew by 20% or more over the five year interval between NCLS Research Surveys 2001 and 2006, including one church that grew by 65%. Average growth over this period across the ten consultancy churches was 8.9%. Using the second analysis (weaker churches, n=9) aggregate growth of the consultancy churches was 9.7%. Given that average growth of all NSW/ACT Baptist Churches over this five year interval to 2006 was 0.7%, the growth of churches that participated in a church consultancy is significant and warrants further research. Such growth is even more remarkable when it is put in this context: 50% of the consultancy churches were struggling at the time of the consultancy with their numerical, financial and ministry viability such that they were in receipt of a ministry subsidy.
While a relatively small number of consultancy churches form this study, these results give some scope for asserting that a church consultancy has been an important factor in assisting most churches toward a pathway to growth.
© 2018 Ian Duncum. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission. This is an extract from Ian’s forthcoming book, The Impact of Church Consultancy. Click here
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