New Title from Ian G. Duncum: The Impact of Church Consultancy
Contents: about the author; contact details; product information; interview resources; praise for the impact of church consultancy
This book follows the journey of ten churches who undertook church consultancies, and explores in depth both the consultancy and its outcomes. Pre-consultancy and post-consultancy "snapshots,"
Interviews with pastors of some of those churches, consider whether and how the church consultancy impacted the health and growth of their church. Conclusions are drawn about the efficacy of church consultancy in influencing the health and growth of churches, as well as contexts for the best use of church consultancy.
This is a significant book for denominational leaders, theological lecturers, pastors, and church leaders as they encounter lack of health in churches and seek ways forward for greater health and impact in their local communities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Ian G. Duncum has pastored churches and held denominational leadership (in church health) and research positions. He works across numerous denominations as a church consultant, intentional interim pastor, trainer, and mentor. Ian consults with churches and nonprofits in the areas of missional effectiveness;
Australian orders: https://www.ianduncum.com.au/
TITLE: The Impact of Church Consultancy:
AUTHOR: Dr Ian G. Duncum
PUBLISHER: Resource Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers
DATE OF PUBLICATION:
RETAIL PRICE: $28.09 USD (Paperback), $43.10 USD (Hardcover), $8.53 USD (Kindle) available through Amazon.com
SAMPLE Q & A:
Q: What is the Impact of Church Consultancy about?
A: This book follows the journey of ten churches who undertook church consultancies, and explores both the consultancy process and its outcomes. "Snapshots" of vitality and attendance for these churches before and five years after the consultancy are compared with those of churches that have not undertaken a church consultancy. This includes interviews with pastors of some of those churches, who share their perspective on whether and how the church consultancy impacted the health and growth of their church.
Q: Why is this book important?
A: In the West many churches are struggling, though not all. Certainly increased secularization makes the task of impacting local communities more difficult for a church. While new models of church are emerging, these churches are not immune from difficulty or loss of impact. Church consultancy is neither church model-specific, nor centred around a particular denomination/
Q: Is this just management consultancy re-worked for churches?
A: Not at all. While it is a practical book, it embeds the practice of church consultancy in a developed theology, as well as cultivating thinking around church growth and church health or vitality. Church consultancy is a ministry with similarities to other ministries, as it seeks God's agenda for the church and its local community.
Q: What results did you get?
A: I used the nine vitality indicators developed by NCLS Research and in one analysis, eight of these indicators were higher for the consultancy churches than for the churches which did not have a consultancy. Six of these were statistically significant.
Seven of the ten churches grew, one by 65%, over the five years post-consultancy. Overall growth was 9% for the consultancy churches, against 0.7% for all churches in the denomination across the state.
In summary, consultancy churches overall had higher levels of vitality and thirteen times the growth compared with churches not undertaking a consultancy. I am not aware of any similar longitudinal research around the world which has been carried out on churches that have invited a consultancy. So these results are very encouraging.
Q: Is church consultancy the 'silver bullet' that is needed today?
A: Yes, and no.
Church consultancy is helpful and wholistic, in that it usually looks at the interface between the leadership and the church, and interface between the church and its community, but it is only one health tool alongside others. It may be that a particular church will benefit more from an intentional interim ministry, or that a pastor will be enabled to bring greater vitality in a church through effective coaching.
I would like to see more churches using consultancy for growth issues, like the church in my research which grew 65% after some blockages were addressed. Because of this I believe that solid churches in the middle, neither struggling nor soaring, would benefit the most from engaging in a church consultancy. Unfortunately many churches use consultancy in a reactive way and too late, rather than as a regular proactive health tool. Nevertheless half of the churches in my research were receiving a denominational subsidy (which was phased out), so there can be good outcomes at the struggling end also.
Q: Who will benefit most from this book?
A: This model of church consultancy has been used in over 20 denominations. So this is a significant book for denominational leaders, church consultants, theological lecturers, pastors, and church leaders as they encounter lack of health in churches and seek ways forward for greater church vitality and missional impact in their local communities. It actually unpacks each consultancy in detail, so that it gives a window on each church's local area, what recommendations were made in the consultancy, and how the church responded. It is an intensely practical book.
PRAISE FOR THE IMPACT OF CHURCH CONSULTANCY:
"We tend to look at church growth through the lens of numbers and vision strategy. In this book, Ian Duncum helpfully explores a more holistic understanding of church health by looking at and assessing local church health and growth through tested consultancy ministry. This is an incredible aid to understanding church growth and wellbeing. These insights come from his years of experience in church consultancy and compelling analysis of data. A wonderful addition to healthy church life."
Principal of Morling Theological College, Sydney
Author of thirteen books, including Taboo or To Do? and The Cross Is Not Enough
Ian Duncum Consulting
Ian Duncum, Director