I am often invited for consultations in the field of church planting, but many times people are unsure what to expect. Here’s a basic outline for what I do in a one-day consultation.

We start by discussing the purpose of the consultation. What do they want to accomplish? What are their goals? Ground rules include confidentiality, a focus on what we can learn, and a commitment to be honest about our challenges.

I then usually ask some version of the following questions:

– What’s working for you?
– What challenges are you facing in church planting?
– What common themes do you see?

The group’s answers to these questions then inform what I share next. I talk for a bit about principles of church planting that are relevant for this group, essential practices, and my perspective on their particular situation. We have a time of feedback from the group, then take a break.

We have a discussion of the common themes that arose earlier, plus a time of pondering what’s missing. We have some time of worship and listening prayer to discern where God is leading. I then ask for each member of the team to share one discovery, confirmation, growth point, or key question.

We then focus the remainder of the time around integrating where God is leading with where we are now. We generate possible solutions, narrow the field, then create an implementation plan.

– What have we heard from God?
– What insights can we apply?
– What priorities do we need to address?
– What are our next steps?

We share key prayer needs that have come out of this time, close in a time of commissioning prayer, and allow for some final reflections:
– What has God done?
– How have I grown?