I’m a software developer. I’m usually involved from the design through delivery of my projects. If a design decision, or technical issue falls outside my expertise we will find someone who can answer it. That person will probably be a consultant.
A consultant is someone who’s been there and done that. Someone who has felt your pain but was triumphant and overcame. Someone who knows all there is to know in their chosen field and studies hard to keep fresh.
A consultant is also a position that I’m sure many developers at my level have aspired to. We are attracted to the aura that is associated with it. We are attracted to the money involved. We like the fact we can impart knowledge and advice and not actually partake in any of the work, or feel responsible for any of the consequences.
It also seems anyone can be a consultant these days. I’ve met many consultants who did not know what they had claimed to know. They amounted to nothing more than a waste of company time and money.
Talking about money, the idea from this post came exclusively from Mich 3:11 as I was reading through it recently. When I read this verse, the rise of the church consultant was what came immediately to mind.
You rulers make decisions based on bribes;
you priests teach God’s laws only for a price;
you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid.
Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord .
“No harm can come to us,” you say,
“for the Lord is here among us.”
– Micah 3:11 (NLT)
Before I continue you need to know I have no experience with dealing directly with a church consultant. I only know of churches that have used them.
I have noticed recently that more and more people are launching themselves as church consultants. Why is this suddenly an in-demand service that is being consumed by churches all over? Are church leaders not able to acquire quickly enough the information they need to operate? Does it take too long to read a book these days? We want to know how and we want to know it now – so we hire a consultant…
Why become a church consultant? Apart from the obvious demand for consultants, are some people stepping into consultant shoes for purely lucrative reasons?
I believe Micah 3:11 stands as a warning to not only consultants, but all church leaders and even christian music artists. We have a duty to build the Kingdom of God, not to line our own pockets. I’m not saying taking a income is wrong, but allowing greed to creep in is.
Think about Paul the apostle, probably the earliest ‘church consultant’. He totally relied on God’s providence. Some churches did not look after him the best and put him in a shoddy Best Western instead of his preferred Holiday Inn Express. Still, he continued to impart encouragement and knowledge wherever he went. He did not write a single invoice.
I’m not sure how I managed to write so much off one verse, or even if I managed to properly express how it made me feel, but I’d like to hear your thoughts and maybe through discussion things will become clearer.