CLIENT PAGE: Consultations

(The following contains information emailed to you.  This online version is for reference.)

To ensure the clinics make the desired impact and so that all participants will have a beneficial experience the following guidelines are helpful.

(If any of the below requirements are impractical or too demanding, please contact me at the earliest opportunity. We wish to make your learning experience the very best occasion possible.)

Consultation Helpers:

To ensure that the consultation gives you the most value for your time investment.

Consultation Assistant (1 person):

This is a lay person or staff member who will interface with your consultant regarding schedules, clinic setup needs, publicizing the clinics, general office coordination and scheduling focus group meetings.  Please let me know who this will be before when we talk over the phone. (Due to their responsibilities, it will be unlikely they will be able to participate in a focus group.)

This person will provide at all meetings:

  • Copies of the “Congregational Analysis” AND “Appendixes” that were provided before the presentation weekend.
  • Collect and keep the notes and participant lists from each Laity Task Force Group.

Consultation Managers (1-4 people):

What they do: These are one to four lay people who will assist your consultant and your pastor with …

  • Encouraging lay participation in the diagnostic Task Forces (i.e. strategy groups, of which there will be 2 – 8 Task Forces depending on size of the congregation).
  • Each of the 1 to 4 consultation managers will mentor 1 to 2 Task Force leaders.
    • Monitoring progress of Task Forces.
    • Answering questions for Task Force leaders regarding protocol and church processes.
    • Directing Task Force leaders to proper staff/boards for approval or input.
    • Facilitating Task Forces leaders to focus on the best of the consultant’s recommendations and put on the back-burner ideas which they don’t consider urgent at the current time.
    • Reminding Task Force leaders to monthly convene their Task Force before each Task Force reports at the upcoming meetings with the consultant.
    • Reporting to the lead pastor and copying the consultant.

Who they are:

  • Organized, lay leaders who encourage, guide and assist in mentoring the Task Force leaders.
  • If necessary consultation managers may be staff persons, but usually staff members are too busy to add mentoring the Task Force leaders to their responsibilities.
  • Therefore, if at all possible look for committed and gifted lay leaders who will mentor and guide the Task Force leaders. Staff may be used for consultation managers, but the process often works best when utilizing well organized lay leaders. In the past consultation managers have included:
    • School administrators,
    • Realtors,
    • Business owners
    • Bankers,
    • Franchise managers,
    • Retired ministers,
    • Judicatory leaders,
    • Accountants,
    • Entrepreneurs,
    • And people who have retired from these categories.

Online Questionnaires:

If any of your leaders or congregants do not have Internet access, please print out the questionnaires and send to your consultant the completed forms. Also, please note the due dates for both questionnaires.

Leadership Questionnaire

A URL link will be provided for the online questionnaire.

You will be given a RETURN by ______(date)______

Please direct up to 54 of your leaders to the first URL for the leadership survey. This questionnaire must be completed before my onsite visit with focus groups.

Congregational Questionnaire

A URL link will be provided for the online questionnaire.

You will be given a RETURN by ______(date)______

All congregants over the age of 15 should fill out one survey per person.

Additional Data Collection:

Email or s-mail as much of the following data as feasible before the “Focus Group” meetings.

  • Attendance figures and trends for the last ten years.
  • Leadership structure (flow chart, diagrams, etc.).
  • Professional (paid) leadership positions with a short explanation of each (include job descriptions if available).
  • Lay leadership positions with a short explanation of each (include job descriptions if available).
  • Public financial records.
  • History of the church (going back as far as feasible)
  • Demographic information and/or approximate zip codes from which the church draws a majority of its attendees.
  • Bulletins, newsletters and brochures.
  • Details of any special programs, such as capital campaigns, building programs, mergers, visioning events, etc.
  • Details of any growth analysis, data gathering, etc. such as church health surveys, demographic surveys, leadership surveys, etc.



______(date)______  We will agree upon a date for your “Focus Group” visit.  This is the date for my onsite meeting with the focus groups. Focus groups will take place from 9 – 2 pm.  There should be five (5) groups of 7 -18 people.  It is best if chairs are set up in a circle with a table and chair (for your consultant) as part of the circle.  Please a comfortable chair and electrical power to the table. (Remember, due to their responsibilities it will be unlikely the consultation assistant will be able to participate in a focus group.)

  • 9-9:50  Long-standing members.
  • 10-10:50 Newer members (attendees), e.g. those who have started attending in the last three years.
  • 11-11:50 Members or volunteers who have become less involved in the church over the last three years.
  • 12-12:50 Church staff has their focus group over lunch with consultant (onsite, please provide food)
  • 1:-1:50 Focus group of your choosing.

Sunday (optional, this is usually scheduled for one of the first four visits).

I will speak at your church on an agreed upon topic.

Please purchase books to give away or sell to congregants. The book, “Cure for the Common Church” is the textbook for the consultation. Or you may choose the book “Enthusiast! Finding a Faith That Fills” if that is the topic you choose for the sermon.


______(date)______ We will agree upon a date for the diagnostic workshop and Dr. Whitesel’s analysis.  This will usually take place from 9am – 1 pm on Saturday.  It is best to supply a lunch to keep the attendees focused.  You will receive a mater copy of the diagnostic report three days in advance.  Please make copies for all those who attend.  You can open this workshop up to all congregants or a select group of leaders.


  1. The congregation should be encouraged that these are important “planning sessions” for the church. All interested members should attend (however you may limit this if the number becomes too extensive).
  2. In addition, we want to solicit the involvement of as many new (and potential) leaders as possible. Look around and seek to identify newer members (or attendees) who you think can be mentored into future leadership positions. These people will often become invigorated by the new ideas and directions generated at the diagnostic event.

Saturday Schedule:

Coffee, juice and breakfast snacks (doughnuts, pastries and/or fruit is helpful) should be available before the event. (I appreciate decaf coffee). There are two breaks during the 9 to noon period.

A working lunch (for Laity Task Force Groups) will take place from noon to 1 PM. The clinic will conclude at 1 PM.

Formation of Laity Task Force Groups:

Laity Task Force Groups will be created from participants and will meet from noon – 1 to brainstorm ideas (with guided facilitation by myself) on how to address individual growth inhibitors. Here is their downloadable agenda and homework: LAITY TASK FORCES HANDOUT & AGENDA ©

  • Each Laity Task Force Group will choose a convener and a scribe (a person who takes notes and records the names/emails/phone numbers of each  of their task force participants.
  • Each Laity Task Force Group will be convened (by the convener) twice (2x) before the next workshop and its brainstorming will be recorded by the scribe.
  • Each Laity Task Force Group will follow the guidelines for strategizing in this downloadable LAITY TASK FORCES HANDOUT & AGENDA ©, which includes this homework:  Each Laity Task Force Group will report on four elements:
    1. The ideas they’ve discussed,
    2. A timeline for implementation,
    3. And what it will look like when they are done.
    4. 1 lesson from the course: ____________________ (course title given at previous workshop)


The remaining six followup clinics (every 3 months) will include at each workshop:

  • Every Laity Task Force Group will report on four elements:
    1. The ideas they’ve discussed,
    2. A timeline for implementation,
    3. And what it will look like when they are done.
    4. 1 lesson from the course: ____________________ (course name)
  • Here is the downloadable agenda, schedule and responsibilities. CLICK > LAITY TASK FORCES HANDOUT & AGENDA ©
  • WATCH this 4-minute video introduction to the LAITY TASK FORCES:


Data Projector.

A data projector (sometimes called a “video projector,” or “media projector”) is needed. It must be capable of being controlled by myself from the stage area, i.e. please ensure that I can operate my computer from the stage, thus there should be a video cable running from my position on the stage to the projector (typically at the back of the auditorium).  A TV in lieu of a data projector is acceptable if it has a screen large enough to be seen clearly by all participants.

A chalkboard, whiteboard or flip-chart with writing utensils.

A lectern capable of holding a moderately-sized 3-ring notebook and a Bible.

A table at least 4 ft. by 4 ft. at the front of the lecture area for my research materials.

A resource table will be made available by the client. The client will staff this resource table with books relevant to each event based upon discussions between your leaders and your consultant. Client will purchase books themselves and client (e.g. the church) will receive all proceeds from sales.


If you have questions, ideas or concerns about the above provisions feel free to contact me.