If your church is exploring an Integrated Planning Consultation, but is not ready to take the plunge, you may want to consider a Introductory Consultation as a first step.
You will fill out a short (3- to 4-page) self-study that can be completed in a few hours. The completed self-study should be returned to your consultant about a week before your leadership team meeting.
Meeting with staff
During your Introductory Consultation the consultant will meet for a half day with staff. This time includes a tour of the facilities. During this time the consultant will gather as much information as possible about the challenges you would like to address during the consultation.
Optional: Observe worship
If you would like for your consultant to observe your worship and your Sunday morning facility utilization before the leadership meeting, you may wish to schedule your leadership team meeting for Sunday afternoon.
Optional: Natural Church Development Survey
You may wish to include the NCD survey as part of your Introductory Consultation rather than waiting to take it as part of your Integrated Planning Consultation. The advantages to doing this include giving your leadership team a better idea of the issues that would be addressed in an IPC and helping Living Stones assemble a consulting team especially qualified to address your needs.
Leadership team meeting
Your consultant will meet with your leadership team (staff, board, key leaders) for two to three hours. The consultant will give a general analysis of the challenges your church is facing, outline the general direction our recommendations will take should you decide to proceed with an Integrated Planning Consultation, and describe what would be involved in a full consultation.
For example, assume your leadership team is divided on the question of whether to build a new worship center so your congregation can continue to all worship together at one time or whether to remodel and change the utilization of your present facility. Your consultant can show you about how much growth is possible in your existing facility without building a new worship center as well as help you calculate the approximate cost of building a new worship center. With these facts, your leadership team can then make a more informed decision about which general direction to take. Only if the team decides to adopt an intensive, multiple-use approach to building utilization would you proceed with an Integrated Planning Consultation to develop a detailed facility plan. If you wish to continue with a single service requiring a larger worship center, you would hire an architect to design your building.
There is no written report with a Introductory Consultation.
The fee for an Introductory Consultation with a single consultant is $1200 plus travel reimbursement for locations within 200 miles of the consultant When overnight travel is required, the fee is $1950 for a single consultant, $2950 for a two-person team,plus travel. This includes your NCD survey. If you have already taken an NCD survey with a Detailed Analysis within the past six months, you can provide us your survey results and we will deduct $325 from your fee.
Of course, the church has no obligation beyond the Introductory Consultation.