ADVISING SERVICES of the NACCC
The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) offers to member churches a variety of advisory services delivered by qualified professionals. We also offer resources and suggestions on line at www.naccc.org and elsewhere on this site. The type of advising, the depth of involvement and the follow-up will vary depending upon the individual circumstances of the requesting church. Advising topics include:
- Finding your next minister
- Celebrating ordinations and installations in the Congregational Way
- Creating a healthy culture for church vitality
- Creating a culture of generosity for year round stewardship
- Charting your course with strategic planning
- Updating your church’s structure and governance
- Reviewing your pastor and other church staff and volunteers
- Managing conflict
WHY CHOOSE AN ADVISOR?
A church, for a variety of reasons might choose to engage an outside facilitator to meet with its leadership groups and concerned individuals, hear concerns, questions, challenges, hopes, in order to receive observations, summaries and recommendations.
General purposes of engaging a consultant include helping to:
- Ensure good practices of Congregationalism
- Determine vision and purpose
- Chart out next steps
- Understand challenges
- Manage conflict
- Promote healing
Delivery of consulting services varies based on the type of services needed and the circumstances of the request. Services may be delivered by telephone, by computer or in person, or a combination of all three. The costs for services also varies based on delivery method and length of involvement in the consulting process.
In all cases, a consultant will seek out data that represents as accurate and unbiased a picture of the situation as possible, will help you articulate the challenges and pass along recommendations to decision makers in the organization that are fair and represent best practices as we know them.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
The beginning of the advising engagement is initiated by a telephone call to the NACCC inquiring if advising services might be right for your congregation given the questions and challenges you are facing. A call for information may be initiated by anyone in the church.
After this initial inquiry, if the church wants to engage in the advising process, a call must be initiated by
the pastor, moderator or chair of a committee or board. In this phone call, a staff member will help you determine what process will best serve your church and direct you to an appropriate advisor.
In some cases, a formal vote of the congregation or the church’s governing board will be required to enter into the advising relationship.
Each advising engagement will be tailored to the specific circumstances of the church. In general, the advisor, in an initial phone call, will gather basic facts from the pastor or lay leader who is designated as the “contact person” for the church in this process.
In some cases, but not all, a formal agreement will be drafted to promote clarity, trust, and understanding among all parties. Signed by a representative of the Church governing board (moderator, clerk, president, etc.) and with the knowledge of the pastor, it will include, among other things:
- the scope of the engagement
- the time frame for agreed upon activities and goals
- how the arrangement will be publicized to the church
- agreed upon fees
In engaging an advisor, the church agrees to:
- commit itself to the process and do the work required to create a successful and positive outcome
- be open with the congregation about the arrangement, the process and reason a consultant has been engaged
- facilitate and schedule the gatherings with publicity, notifications and other appropriate means
- publically disseminate the consultant’s final report to the congregation or engaging board or committee
- depending on the duration and scope of the engagement, reimburse the advisor for all expenses related to it, i.e. transportation costs, accommodations, and any materials needed. A fee may be negotiated for longer term consultations.
Chart of Advising Services