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Staff Health

I'll Be There For You

How do you discern which potential partners are truly the best fit? Here are some critical factors to look for ...

Friends

Finding the Right Partners

 

I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.

I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

(from the popular show “Friends”)

 

The past couple of weeks, we explored some critical signs indicating that you or your church may need some outside coaching, friendship, and support, along with the immense value external coaches can provide. Finding and selecting the right coaching partners for your church’s unique needs is equally important.

 

Not all church consultants or coaching firms out there are created equal. Once you decide to reach out for guidance prayerfully, how do you discern which potential partners are truly the best fit? Here are some critical factors to look for:

 

Relevant Experience and Proven Track Record

 

First, closely examine a potential coach’s background and credentials. Do they have many years of hands-on ministry leadership experience themselves? How many churches have they successfully guided through seasons of revitalization and growth? Do they have specific track records of catalyzing breakthroughs in churches highly similar to your context - such as size, denomination, region, etc.? Deep first-hand experience matters greatly when it comes to quickly and accurately understanding the dynamics of your church and crafting recommendations tailored specifically for you. 

 

Values and Ministry Philosophy Alignment

 

Make sure any potential coaches share your church's foundational biblical values, Kingdom vision, and core ministry philosophies. Are you both genuinely passionate about the same spiritual outcomes and community impact? Do they prioritize a holistic view of church health beyond just numbers - caring about spiritual growth, discipleship vibrancy, Kingdom legacy, etc.? Carefully check potential coaches for alignment to build upon the same foundation and pull in the same direction.

 

Range of Available Services and Expertise

 

Ideally, look for coaching companies that possess diverse expertise across common ministry domains like organizational structure and staffing, strategic vision and planning, discipleship systems, financial processes, leadership pipeline development, communication flow, community outreach platforms, and more. Seek friends who bring a wide umbrella under which they can address a wide scope of integrated needs both now and in the future. Even if you only need help in one subset area currently, you never know what type of guidance your church may require down the road.

 

Strong Relational Orientation

 

The very best church coaches and partners consistently take ample time to understand the precise needs, dynamics, and culture of your specific congregation before offering recommendations. They never take a cookie-cutter approach. Ensure potential partners express a deep desire to build trust and rapport with your core leadership team through intentional listening, compassion, and relationship building. This solid relational foundation enables solutions to be carefully tailored for maximum relevance to your church family.

 

Personality and Communication Style

 

Make sure your church decision-makers have natural interpersonal chemistry and easily connect with potential advisors. Do your respective communication styles mesh well? Are advisors easily accessible, responsive, and comfortable to be around? Observe whether they naturally explain concepts in clear, understandable ways. Also, look for coaching partners who lead with humility, never prescribe answers but rather walk alongside leaders in making decisions. Choose friends you will enjoy collaborating with in this season of life.

 

Cultural Sensitivity

 

If your church has very specific ethnic, generational, or demographic traits, seek advisors who share those sensitivities and will understand nuances that outsiders may miss. Suppose a consultant has already guided many churches with similar cultural backgrounds to yours. In that case, they will be able to go much deeper, much more quickly, to provide you with culturally relevant guidance. Look for advisors who share your kingdom values and care about people over programs.

 

Budget Considerations

 

While hiring a trusted coach requires budget investment on the front end, the exponential ROI in renewed health, growth, and sustainability far outweighs the initial costs. Still, be sure potential partners are upfront about their rates, flexible to work within your church's budget constraints, and able to pace projects according to reasonable cash flow for your context. Some even offer scaled packages or payment plans. Seek good stewardship while still getting the catalytic help you need in this season.

 

Above all, prayerfully seek the Spirit's guidance in identifying partners who bring both skill and heart. Once you've narrowed down top contenders, have exploratory conversations in which you come prepared with detailed church data, scenarios, and pain points you want their feedback on. Listen for wisdom, humility, and cultural fit. The right friends will stick closer than a brother as they guide your church into a new era of Kingdom impact!

 

At Chemistry Solutions, we truly believe that your church has gifts waiting to be discovered. There is untapped potential in your people, programs, and leadership. But realizing that potential requires an honest look at where you currently are. With our guidance, your church can pinpoint areas of excellence to build upon as well as opportunities for growth. 

 

We’d love to talk to hear how we might be able to help you and your church.  Find out more about Chemistry Solutions here.

 

Todd-Signature-2019

 

PS - I’ll Be There For You!

Todd Rhoades

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

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