It seems to be a time of the year when many congregations are thinking about the work for the coming congregational year. I have gotten a number of questions about hiring consultants. One first thing to say about this is how much a congregation gets out of consulting assistance depends–more than anything else–on how much the congregation puts into the relationship. In particular, congregations would benefit greatly by spending more time clarifying the assignment for the consultant, clarifying the outcomes that they expect, and so forth.

In my previous position with the Alban Institute, we worked a great deal with the Indianapolis Center for Congregations. The Indianapolis Center has an excellent series of free online resource concerning how to use resources well. Their piece on how to work with a consultant is a good place to begin for any congregation considering use of an outside consultant.

Those interested in consultants might also be interested to know that our district consultants group just completed their first brochure in time for our recent District Assembly.