Church Consulting

Accord Consulting is committed to helping Churches with their ‘Sweet Spot of Service’. After many years of observing and serving in churches, as well as a having the privilege of assisting many of them as clients, we at Accord have come to realize that helping churches with how they actually arrive at their God-given vision, mission, core values, objectives, and action plans is much more exciting and helpful then telling them what they need to look like! We can help your church on its journey to becoming effective right where God has placed you. Please contact us at kgod@accordconsulting.com or at 647.346.9450 to explore how we might assist you.

(By exploring the pull-down tabs beyond this one, you’ll find some articles and tools just for churches.  Check out the pull-down tabs to the right of this tab.)

Immediately below you can peruse the specific consulting services Accord Associates provide to churches (or other faith-based organizations):

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Executive and Employee Coaching

Accord Associates provide Personal Coaching to Pastors or Executive Pastors or Leaders of other faith-based organizations.  Such services are intended to improve the effectiveness of the leader in his/her current role.

Dr. Lightbody has experience in coaching pastors and denominational executives based on his own experience on 9 years as a pastor and 20 years as a denominational vice-president.  He has experience with national, district and regional leaders.  Other leaders on national and district teams can benefit from his experience including those leading ministries to men, women, adults, youth and children.

Many pastors are over-living.  They fail to set proper margins on their personal life and on their public ministries.  Balanced and proper expectations minimize the risk of burn-out.  It is all a matter of the choices we make and the balance we bring to life and ministry.  Both Dr. Lightbody and Ken Godevenos have avoided burnout and have continued in unbroken ministry and service with the full support of their families and those to whom they have been accountable.  They share their experiences in coaching senior faith-based leaders to do likewise.

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Pastoral and Executive Recruitment

Accord Associates, using both its expertise and its extensive network in the faith-based organizations, provides full-service recruitment services for pastoral and other senior leadership positions for our faith-based clients.  Having been heavily involved in churches for many years, Accord Consultants are well situated to assist Search Committees in this area.   In addition, we work hand-in-hand with Search Committees to either provide oversight or directional guidance or to relieve them of some of the more tedious aspects of the process.   (You may be interested in our resource document “Does Your Church Need An Executive Pastor?“)

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Contract Fulfillment

Using either some of Accord’s own Associates or providing contracted services by others, Accord is able to assist churches and other faith-based organizations with the provision of short-term staff at all levels.  If you have a temporary need that you cannot readily fill, please contact us for assistance.

Many churches in transition need pastoral leadership — due to pastoral illness or while searching for a replacement.  Interim pastors can serve the church through regular preaching, leading the office / support staff and assisting elders and deacons.  Strategic planning can be carried forward effectively between pastors.  When a church is in crisis, an interim pastor can be part of the healing process.  Staying the course with vision, mission, core values and key result area is essential.  Dr. Lightbody has been an interim pastor managing pastoral and office staff and assisting church leaders in keeping the church steady and even helping it move forward.

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Organizational Reviews

Accord Consulting assists churches in successfully facing their unique challenges for the future. Through an Organizational Review, Accord helps them become organized and operating in the most efficient and effective ways to best achieve their full potential in the pursuit of their vision and mission. The Accord approach includes a review of current vision mandate, strategy, action plans, structure, policies, programs, procedures, administration, as well as staff or congregation relations, etc. Accord consultants, with the board’s or senior pastor’s agreement, may interview employees and, where appropriate,  other stakeholders; review all relevant material; prepare a detailed report of findings; provide recommendations on each; present the results to the appropriate client group(s); and help with the implementation of any approved recommendations.  (You may also find our resource material entitled the Strategic Planning Process for Churches.)

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Strategic Planning Facilitation

Accord Consulting helps churches define, develop and communicate their Vision, Mission, Core Values, Objectives, and Action Plans. Working with your essential players, Accord consultants will facilitate the development of your church’s Strategic Plan for being successful at doing what God may want you to do in the years ahead. Accord will help you shape, not only the words, but more importantly, the actions that when implemented will effectively communicate your goals and demonstrate your commitment to the future success of your organization.  (See the Strategic Planning Process for Churches.)

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Compensation Programs

Accord consultants have extensive experience in the development, communication, and implementation of the full spectrum of total compensation programs and policies. Accord has worked with churches to develop job evaluation plans, job analysis and data collection tools, salary grade schedules, and base pay systems.  Where appropriate, and after assisting a church to determine what it should compare with for salaries, Accord consultants have undertaken surveys on behalf of a church in order to help them establish and implement a pay policy, as well as an actual pay line, for various positions in their church.

Accord can assist your church to develop its own customized job evaluation system and salary administration program. This includes not only more conventional job evaluation techniques such as point-factor plans with customized selection and definition of appropriate “compensable” factors, but also the development and use of “competencies” for the purpose of best determining how and when to deliver the compensation of incumbents, for various jobs.

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Benefits Programs

Accord consultants have undertaken reviews of various organizations’ health and dental benefits  and group insurance programs and have implemented customized ‘cost containment’ measures acceptable to both the church  and staff alike. Consulting assistance and expertise is available in the design and development of flexible benefits programs that uniquely satisfy the needs of your employee demographics and your church ’s objectives.  In particular, we can assess your current benefit program and improve your cost-containment efforts in this regard.  We then take your needs to market and find you the right supplier that will optimize the needs of your employees and their families with the ability of your church to cover or subsidize the cost of the benefits being provided.  Our staff have repeatedly provided clients with immediate and continued savings and we’d be happy to show you how we do that.

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Policy & Procedure Development

Accord believes that Church Policies and Procedures do not have to be long and boring, but they do have to communicate effectively, consistently, and thoroughly. Accord consultants work with churches to review, revise, and develop the necessary policies and procedures which satisfy regulatory requirements as well as the church’s objectives, attract the intended audience, facilitate administration, clarify interpretation, and address potential issues that may arise. More importantly, Accord’s approach to policy and procedure development involves careful attention to the integration and appropriate cross-referencing of all related policies and procedures.

We take special care to organize, communicate, and present those policies to the intended audience, for you, in a way that does not mean you have to republish or reprint every policy each time a new one is added or updated.

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Performance Management (& Appraisal) Plans

Accord is experienced in the development of customized Performance Management and Appraisal tools for assessing church staff. We help organizations measure the individual performance of employees and focus employee development and training efforts in the required areas for improving performance not only in the employee’s current position, but also in future career opportunities.

Accord consultants assist you in developing these plans to suit the specific needs of your staff in your church’s unique culture. Such tools can be delivered in the traditional paper form or can take advantage of user-friendly computer software to facilitate administration and multi-use purposes.

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Employee Opinion/Congregational Surveys

Often churches lose touch with what their staff or congregants are thinking, saying, and feeling. Accord helps church leaders develop data collection tools that are relevant, sensitive to staff concerns/issues (e.g. confidentiality), and efficiently administered. Accord will assist in the development of such tools and will train selected employees to administer these tools. Accord will also serve as a direct-mail site for employee or congregational submission of this information on a confidential basis. Finally, Accord will prepare the data for the church leadership , analyze it, offer the necessary and appropriate interpretations based on our experience, and if required, assist management to communicate the collective results to various staff groups and to the congregation as appropriate, and to develop the necessary action plans to address the results provided.

Churches may utilize “customer satisfaction” measures as a criteria for employee performance plans.  If so, they will benefit from Accord’s assistance in developing, distributing, collecting, and analyzing Congregational Satisfaction / Opinion surveys. Accord believes such surveys (the methodology of which is developed with just as much care as that of Staff Surveys) not only help Church Leaders get a sound handle on where their current congregation is with respect to a church’s programs and services, but also where they want to be in the future.

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Third-Party Mediation

Accord consultants mediate settlements for individuals and churches related to both personal situations and work-related issues including severance settlements. As an alternative to litigation, third-party mediation is becoming an ever-increasingly used mechanism for resolving disputes of all types.  (You may be interested in our resource document entitled “Christian Mediation Services“.)

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Exit Interviews and/or Surveys

Accord consultants assist churches in conducting exit interviews and data collection from congregants that have left the organization, regardless of reason. Such data is solicited by Accord using confidential data collection. Former attendees are assured that no individual data will be presented to the church, but only integrated data. For that reason, feedback to churches is only provided once a sufficient number of such individuals are interviewed or surveyed in order to provide that confidentiality. Accord uses its own set of interview or survey questions for this or will work with the church to revise the process and content in order to best meet the needs of the church in the future.

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Fund-raising

In tough economic times many churches and para-church organizations are not sure they should raise funds to offset financial needs.  There are many ways to address this reality.  Major donors may not be impacted by the economy the way others are.  A large number of smaller donations are always effective.  What percentage of the capital raised should appropriately be used to finance a fund-raising campaign?  Dr. Lightbody has personally led several successful national denominational fund-raising campaigns and can help your organization in doing likewise.

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National Campaigns

Promoting new denominational and para-church initiatives — a new international ministry, a new denominational focus, or, for example, a renewed interest in prayer or missions.  How are new initiatives best communicated?  How do you achieve grass-roots participation?  How do you prepare compelling advertising and related programs?  To accomplish your goals, Accord Associates work with insiders to insure the program results you want are achieved.  Dr. Lightbody has personally led several such initiatives nationally that cross both geographic and ethnic lines.

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International Ministries

International workers (missionaries) serve at a difficult time and in difficult places.  Even the word ‘missionary’ is used with increased caution.  Given the success of church planting around the world, international workers are now moving into limited access countries.  They do so at great risk and often without the support of the sending church which tries to protect their identity and location.  We must find ways to support them.  Dr. Lightbody has been an international worker for 10 years and can help you find ways, tailored to your reality, to help keep the sending church and your international workers connected.

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International Tours

Accord’s Dr. Lightbody has led several international tours to various countries around the world with a view to meeting and praying with international workers.  Visits can have a positive impact on national church projects and ministries.  These tours motivate insiders from the sending organization to give and to pray.  Tours can be fully organized from start to finish on behalf of any organization to almost any country.  Size of tour groups can vary from 5 or 6 up to 40 or more.  Times for such tours can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks.  The impact of on-site visits is immeasurable.  Trips to Israel and the Mediterranean region are of particular interest to our Associates.