Influence

 the shape of leadership

Four Times You May Need to Hire an Outside Consultant

Know when to seek specialized help for your ministry

Influence Magazine on August 30, 2018

For most things, your staff is well trained and highly competent to do the job. But there are times in the life of a church when you must go outside to get some help. The task may be too difficult or the matter too delicate.

Of course, there are plenty of things you can outsource, such as printing, graphic work and security. But some things require a specific, focused consultant to tackle. Good leaders know when to go outside and get some help.

1. When You’re Making a Big Hire

Whether it’s the senior pastor or just a key leadership spot, there are multiple ministry hiring firms that can help you out. Not only can they cast a wider net than your internal search team, they can also interview candidates, provide background checks, recommend proper compensation, and help with specific human resource issues.

When the hire is a big one, it may be wise not to settle for the reach of your immediate board or committee. Go outside your church in these cases for a great fit and fantastic find.

2. When You Need a Fresh Set of Eyes

It’s easy to become myopic in ministry. Walking through the same doors, standing on the same platform, and looking at the same chairs week after week can make you complacent. When you feel like things are stale, hire someone to provide a new perspective.

Good leaders know when to go outside and get some help.

There are some “secret shopper” ministry consultants who will visit your church, experience your ministry from a new perspective, and then report back their findings. They can point out things you never saw and recommend changes you never thought of.

3. When You’re Ready to Go to the Next Level

Have you plateaued in your attendance, giving, volunteer involvement or outreach? Looking to increase your reach in the community? You may want to hire a consultant who can take a look at your entire organization and make recommendations to spur growth.

Look for a consultant with a proven track record. What you want is advice from someone who has been there before. Maybe you’re looking into adding a new campus. An experienced consultant can guide you through the hidden dangers they navigated themselves.

4. When There’s a Recurring Problem

Let’s be honest: Ministry can be difficult. And there are no perfect staff people. But if you find a recurring problem among your staff, say financial or sexual infidelity, you need to go outside your church for help.

Don’t rely on your own internal counseling to tackle the issues. Find someone who will talk honestly to the staff but provide help and grace when they are needed most. Good leaders will go the extra mile to fix prominent problems.

Take a look at your present situation. Are there any missing parts, gaping holes, missed opportunities or unmet goals? You may have done all you can. It could be time to go outside for the best help available.

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