At an unfamiliar crossroad,
nothing takes the place of an experienced guide.

Since 1980, Living Stones consultants have partnered with hundreds of congregations in 30 or so denominations throughout the U.S. and Canada. We have a well-established track record of helping churches increase ministry effectiveness through strategic planning and coaching in four critical areas:

Church Facility Planning   Financial Analysis
Using the When-Not-to-Build system of planning church buildings pioneered by our founder Ray Bowman, we can usually save churches with significant building needs hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on facilities compared to traditional church building solutions. These resources can then be invested in ministry to people

Staffing For Growth
In most churches, suboptimum staffing patterns hinder growth and limit ministry effectiveness. We show you how to remove these barriers to empower your staff.
Growing churches manage money differently than non-growing churches do. In 9 out of 10 churches we work with, we find financial barriers to healthy growth. We identify these for you and recommend ways to remove them.

Ministry and Church Health
Church buildings, staff, and finance all exist for ministry. Ministry goals should drive the shaping of every other aspect of your strategic plan. It's all about maximizing ministry. To evaluate church health, we use the Natural Church Development survey.

"Of all the churches that have called me because they thought they needed to build, I estimate that 9 out of 10 had a better, less costly alternative."

--Ray Bowman, founder of Living Stones Associates, retired church architect and consultant, coauthor of WHEN NOT TO BUILD: An Architect's Unconventional Wisdom for the Growing Church

When Not to Build

Every Living Stones strategic plan includes ministries and church heath, staffing, and finances. Facility planning is included for those churches that request it.

An integrated approach

A rare, possibly unique, strength of Living Stones is that we have the expertise to integrate all these elements into a single comprehensive plan that takes into account how each area impacts all the others. Your plan will:

Most church growth/health consultants do not develop facility plans. Most facility specialists lack an in-depth working knowledge of church health assessment, creative ministry programming options, and staffing dynamics. Because your Living Stones team includes specialists in all these areas with complementary expertise, you end up with a comprehensive, integrated strategic plan, not a piecemeal plan.

Eddy Hall

"It is not our job to grow the church. Our job is to identify and remove barriers to healthy growth. If we pull the weeds, God will grow the church."

--Eddy Hall, church consultant, coauthor of WHEN NOT TO BUILD and WHEN THERE'S NO BURNING BUSH: Following Your Passions to Discover God's Call.

When there is no Burning Bush

High success rate

Many churches invest heavily in strategic planning only to see the completed plans collect dust. Living Stones has, through years of experience, developed systems that insure that most churches are able to implement most of the major consultation recommendations. We don't just work with you to develop a plan. Even more important, we continue to work closely with you as you fine-tune and implement your plan.

Find out if your church is a good candidate for our consulting services.