1. Arrange a Pre-Consultation Interview. Certified consultants will arrange with the pastor and leaders of a congregation to meet to discuss the overview of the TCN process, to share information on setting up a consultation and to answer questions. This should take place no less than three months prior to the anticipated time of a consultation.
2. Set the Date. If a date is not set at the pre-consultation interview, a weekend should be scheduled at least three months out. The date should be agreed upon by the consultant, potential coach and district leadership. In general, the district facilitator should be coordinating all the parties to arrive at a date agreeable to each.
3. Gather Data. Demographic data from Lutheran Church Extension Fund can be obtained through the district. This will help the consultation team guide the congregation in addressing its community.
4. Gather Prayer Support. Revitalization is a spiritual process, not a program. It’s effectiveness depends upon the Holy Spirit’s power and the congregation’s desire to be faithful to the Great Commission. Therefore every effort to gather people in prayer and encourage individuals to pray for this process is essential to its positive outcome. Prayers for the TCN process as it affects congregations of the LCMS will also be appreciated.
5. Consider Motivation for Mission Small Group Outreach Program. While not mandatory, if time permits it is strongly advised that one or more small groups be organized in the congregatoin to go through the six-week module, Motivation for Mission. This will introduce to active participants in the congregation the value of personal Gospel outreach to their unchurched friends and neighbors. Motivation for Mission Leader’s Guides and Participant’s Guides can be ordered through our webstore. A Motivation for Mission Introductory Powerpoint presentation for pastors and church leaders can help explain the value of this endeavor.
6. Prepare documents which should be sent to each of the consultation team members no less than three weeks prior to the consultation weekend. The congregation may send these out to the team members or arrange for the district to do the same.
- Download the SELF-STUDY DOCUMENT and provide the documentation which is prescribed therein. The documentation requested would include the following:
- Congregational History. Someone in the congregation should write a brief history of the congregation, covering pastoral administrations, key events in the life of the congregation, description and history of properties, make-up of the congregation and other items which may be helpful to the consultation team in understanding the background of the congregation.
- Twenty years of congregational metrics. Financial reports over the past twenty years should be compiled. These need not be more detailed than total income and expenses for each year with graphs of the same. A full financial report for at least the past two years would be needed. Data and graphs of church attendance and membership statistics over the past twenty years will also be needed.
- Worship life indicators. Since the consultation team will not have experienced a worship service at the church prior to writing their report on the Saturday evening of the weekend, sample bulletins and even a video tape of a typical worship service would be appreciated in advance of the consultation.
- Publications. Copies of a number of recent newsletters should be gathered as well as minutes from the last two years of council and/or voters meetings should accopany the pre-consultation documents.
- Download the Three Surveys. Survey of the PASTOR, Survey of the congregational LEADERS and a Congregational Exercise should be taken to give the team some idea of the readiness for and attitudes about change in the congregation. Send in all of the surveys which were taken to the consulting team along with the other documentation.
7. Assist the consulting team with arrangements. The lead consultant will gather the consulting team, and will work directly with the pastor and/or leaders of the congregation to set up the physical arrangements for the consultation. These would include schedule, space, meals and lodging.
8. Make Financial Arrangements. In general, the district is responsible for setting fees and working with the local congregation in covering expenses. Expenses would cover the fee for the lead consultant plus expenses. Other members of the consulting team, if they are in training, would cover their own expenses. Expenses for other members of the district consulting team would be covered by either the district itself or by an agreement between the district and the congregation.
9. Setting the Consultation Schedule. The Pastor and congregational leaders are responsible for arranging interviews with the various staff, and leadership of the congregation on Friday of the consultation weekend. A focus group of members who are not positional leaders will take place Friday evening, and all day Saturday until about 3:00 pm is reserved for interviewing and giving input to the positional leaders of the congregation, people of influence and people with a passion for the future of the congregation. The report will be written by the team on Saturday evening and delivered to the whole congregation at a town meeting (usually over lunch) after the worship service on Sunday morning.