Q: Is Church Doctor a ministry or a business?
A: When Church Doctor Ministries partners with your church, the relationship reflects the love and honor we have for the Body of Christ. It is an expression of our passion for the Great Commission. Our servant role to you demonstrates our conviction that every local church – and, your church − is the hope of the world.
The name, Church Doctor, describes our personal approach to the uniqueness and complexity of every church, as a living organism – just as a medical doctor approaches the human body with respect and integrity.
Q: We’ve tried many programs with almost no long-lasting results. How is this different?
A: Our commitment is not a quick-fix of programmatic symptoms, but a comprehensive thoroughness that treats the causative issues behind the issues. No ministry is as thorough and exhaustive toward multiplying hope through a healthy church. We at Church Doctor Ministries approach your church from the perspective of John 5:19, where Jesus provided His disciples with His approach to ministry. Essentially, this motivates us to avoid the “quick fix” and to approach your church sensitively: to see where God is blessing and build on that; to join God where He is moving. Our experience with the Christian movement on six continents for four decades provides a deep well of experience as “God watchers.” This experience intersects with the personality of your church.
Q: What is your ultimate goal? Why do you do this?
A: Our relationship with your congregation includes follow-up and follow-through, as we guide you to right action plans. Our support by phone and e-mail is available at no further cost because our objective, like yours and God’s, is results. This maximizes the stewardship of our partnership to increase the effectiveness of your church. We believe God’s Kingdom work deserves no less.
Our approach to your church is designed as a process. God uses this as a catalyst for encouragement. It energizes your church members in every area of congregational life. Measurable results in several categories of spiritual health and vitality are evident within months of helping your church.
The long-term friendships and on-going relationships we have developed are a gratifying and joyful blessing we receive by working with churches like yours. The growth of God’s Kingdom, through a more effective church – this is the extraordinary honor and blessing we share with those we serve.
Q: What is the approach of Church Doctor Ministries?
A: Church Doctor is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 ministry (the same as a church).
Q: How do you determine the costs?
A: Consultations/assessments and travel expenses are charged on an at-cost basis.
Q: What makes Church Doctor Ministries unique?
A: The consultation/assessment process of Church Doctor Ministries is the most thorough available. It is based on 40 years of helping churches, which makes it the most experienced process available.
Q: What does the consultation/assessment process include?
A: The consultation/assessment process includes several phases:
- Diagnostic phase: general anonymous surveys given to everyone in church, questionnaires, review of all aspects of the church (finance, website, local demographics, structure, bulletin, newsletter, brochures), staff surveys, senior pastor vision survey, information gathered about the recent and past history of the church, survey among key influencers and leaders.
- On-Site Phase: The on-site visit by the Church Doctor includes interviews, another, different anonymous questionnaire for each interviewee, a complete facility tour, a windshield tour of the community with a realtor, training of host and hostesses for the interview process, introduction/exit interviews with the (senior) pastor, interviews with the program staff, interviews with leaders and participants of adjacent ministries like preschool, daycare, elementary school, soup kitchen, etc., and meetings with major boards or committees.
- A “Next Steps” meeting will be held with key leadership during the on-site visit. It will be directed to long-term direction, vision, and future opportunities for the church.
Q: What kind of report do we receive?
A: A written report will be developed by the Church Doctor. It will include analytical insights (graphically displayed), consultant assessment, diagnosis and analysis, as well as recommendations. The written report includes a summary of recommendations by topic, a sample Action Plan template, census data, and a comprehensive crosstab report of independent variables. The Church Doctor also writes personal and confidential letters to all individuals who would benefit from personal directives that are not appropriate for the public report.
Q: Is there a follow-up visit to the church?
A: The Church Doctor returns for an Oral Report to the congregation, which includes visual graphics and a Q & A session. If it is well-publicized, this serves as a catalytic event that raises excitement and hope, as well as increased involvement and financial giving.
Q: Will the Church Doctor help us toward the next step?
A: During the return visit for the Oral Report, the Church Doctor meets with key leaders to focus on areas of church health. This issue leads to the concept of a spiritual formation journey in the church.
Q: How do we know we are moving in the right direction?
A: The Church Doctor receives your Action Plans approximately 90 days after the Oral Report, reads them thoroughly, and responds, in writing, to each Action Plan requiring a comment.
Q: What help can we expect in the future?
A: Your Church Doctor will initiate a follow-up phone call with the (senior) pastor, by appointment, at 6 months and again at 12 months following the Oral Report.
Q: What if we are implementing some recommendations 5 years from now?
A: Your Church Doctor is available by e-mail or phone, at no further cost, for as long as you church is executing Action Plans generated from the consultation/assessment.
Q: How can we be assured of the fiscal integrity of Church Doctor Ministries?
A: Church Doctor Ministries is a member in good standing of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
Q: How is the cost determined?
A: The Diagnostic Consultation is provided at below a not-for-profit, at-cost basis. Many churches and individuals voluntarily donate to Church Doctor Ministries. These donors have benefited from this ministry and want to encourage others through their support. Their donations literally subsidize the next church that receives help.
Q: Why do some in our church think this is a discretionary expenditure?
A: Human nature often leads us to go to the doctor only when we feel the pain. Most churches have experienced the need for emergency expenditures: the roof leaks, the furnace fails, the carpet is worn out. When it comes to spending the same amount (or much less) to strengthen the health, vitality, and effectiveness of the church, some Christians ironically consider this to be less important. In truth, it is the church’s greatest investment because it focuses directly on the church’s ability to provide the mission Christ gave us.
Q: How do we fund this opportunity for our church to become more healthy and effective?
A: The best way to fund this is to gather those who want the church to be more productive. (You can help them identify themselves with the attached self-reflection tool). Ask them if they will pledge, over the next 6-10 months to give, each month, above and beyond their usual support to the church. Identify this group as a Vision Community. Most importantly, this approach builds ownership and receptivity for the recommendations your church will receive. This increases the likelihood of implementation and positive results.
Q: What about those who have been financially blessed? Can they contribute?
A: Many churches have some who have been financially blessed and have a heart for the church to be more effective in making disciples, experience greater harmony, and/or overcome some hurdles. They can become a part of the Vision Community and can often make a one-time, sizable gift – or pledge – to make up what the Vision Community might not provide.
Q: What other benefits occur with the development of a Vision Community?
A: When many people in the church are willing to invest in this process, it signals that your church is ready for change, improvement, and growth. Their investment in this makes it personal. This elevates their Great Commission awareness as well. It provides hope and encouragement, and helps many to move from a focus on the past or the present to a focus on the future.
Q: Are there long-lasting effects of this approach to financing?
A: Absolutely! After the period of “extra giving,” many realize that God has supplied all their needs, as He promises. With new enthusiasm for the church’s future, they continue their support of the church at the new increased level.
Q: What about those who chose not to be a part of the Vision Community?
A: When they hear the Church Doctor’s Oral Report, they, too, will get excited – at a higher level – about the future of your church. Within six months of the Oral Report, churches experience, on average, a 13% growth of those who give 10% or more of their income to the work of the Lord, through their church. Consequently, the Diagnostic Consultation experience is not only financed outside the church’s budget, it leads to increased giving.