FAQs About Local Church ConsultationsWHAT IS FRESH START?
day an average of 10 churches in the United States close their doors
because they do not know where else to turn or what else to do. This
mortality rate seems excessive and therefore, Fresh Start has been
designed by Bob Humphrey and offered through Mission to the Americas to
address this need. Fresh Start is designed along the lines of a medical
Fresh Start provides diagnostic evaluations of the church and of the community.
Fresh Start provides a determination regarding the causes for plateau or decline.
Fresh Start provides a recommended course of action that is backed by Mission to the Americas resources.WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF FRESH START?
purpose of Fresh Start is to provide plateaued and declining churches
with a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses through
proficient assessment and evaluation and to aid churches in developing
turnaround plans and strategies tailored to their situation.WHAT IS THE VISION OF FRESH START?
Our vision is to turn declining churches into dynamic growing churches.WHAT ARE THE VALUES OF FRESH START?
All Churches Matter to God
Effective Pastoral Leadership is Key
Congregational Renewal is Essential
Integrity and honesty in all matters
Shepherds Need Shepherding
Invest Kingdom Assets in Church PlantingWHAT DOES A TYPICAL APPROACH LOOK LIKE?
Your church would vote to contact Fresh Start
Fresh Start will send you a packet of diagnostic evaluations.
the diagnostic evaluations have been completed and returned to Fresh
Start, a date will be scheduled for a personal visit by a team of Fresh
A Fresh Start Assessment Team of two to three
persons will visit your church and community for approximately three to
Fresh Start health and growth presentations will be made to your church.
A comprehensive report of the Fresh Start Team’s findings and recommendations will be made to your church.
Your church will be asked to vote upon the Fresh Start recommendations.
Fresh Start will assist you in working through the steps of the Fresh Start plan your church voted to adopt.
process usually takes an average of three to four months to from the
time the church votes to contact Fresh Start until the church is asked
to vote upon the recommendations of the Fresh Start Assessment Team.WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED?
Start will submit a proposal based upon the location and financial
capability of the church. The church is asked to review the total cost
of a Fresh Start consultation and then determine the amount they can
commit to prior to the Fresh Start Assessment Team’s visit.
assistance from your regional denomination/association is often
available for studies like this. You can contact your district office
or ask Fresh Start to initiate the contact.WHO IS THE LEAD CONSULTANT FOR FRESH START?
Penfold will be the lead consultant. Gordon is in the process of
developing a network of Fresh Start consultants. At this time you
should contact him concerning your needs.
God has gifted and
prepared Gordon for this ministry through a number of experiences. From
his early years in the local church Gordon has been involved in
conflict resolution and biblical peace making. Gordon has also served
four congregations full time. In each case the Lord brought a measure
of turnaround. In 2003 he was exposed to Fresh Start Ministries
through Bob Humphrey, the founder and director of Fresh Start. Since
that time Gordon has worked with a number of churches from different
denominations who have asked for his counsel and guidance. He has also
been training pastors since 1994. This includes numerous trips to the
Former Soviet Union. He recently led a Pastor's Conference in Ukraine
where he taught the Principles and Practices of Conflict Resolution
and Biblical Peace Making. Gordon is currently serving as the Pastor
of First Baptist Church, Holyoke, Colorado. Gordon did an assessment
for this church and they asked him to serve as their pastor in leading
them to a Fresh Start.
Gordon holds a Bachelor's and
Master's degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in structural
engineering. He has holds a Master of Theology degree from Dallas
Theological Seminary. He is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry
degree with Dr. Gary McIntosh at Talbot Seminary in La Mirada,
California. His D.Min study tract is Growing and Multiplying Churches in the USA. Gordon has been in full time ministry since 1980.WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC BENEFITS OF FRESH START?
Every church that completes a Fresh Start assessment will benefit in the following ways.
You will have a better understanding of the real and significant factors impacting your church’s health.
You will have a clear and accurate picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your church.
You will receive solid decision-making information that will assist you in planning your future.
You will see your community in a way that will reveal your greatest potential for ministry.
You will have the objective counsel of experienced church growth and health consultants.
You will know the degree of probability for turning your church into a dynamic growing church.
Your church could be a candidate for Fresh Start turnaround and Mission subsidy.
You will receive a comprehensive report that could provide the basis for future ministry.WHAT STUDIES WILL BE CONDUCTED?
Diagnostic evaluations will be focused on three major areas: LEADERSHIP, CHURCH and COMMUNITY.
roles and functions of both the pastoral leadership and the
lay-leadership will be reviewed to determine the degree of
compatibility each role has with the needs of a turnaround church.
Pastoral Leadership Assessment
The tools used to profile the pastoral staff include some of the following. Not all tools are used in every instance.
DiSC Personality Profile
Leadership Diagnostic Guide
Spiritual Gift Inventory
A Comprehensive Pastoral Profile
Turnaround Pastor Assessment Profile
The tools most commonly used to profile the lay leaders of the church include the following.
Lay-Leaders Interview Guide
Spiritual Gift Inventory
The tools for diagnosing the strengths and weakness of the church include the following tools.
Church Health and Growth Profile – The pastor or a church leader completes this study
Natural Church Development Survey – 30 Church leaders complete this survey
Church Data Survey – a comprehensive church-wide evaluation is sometimes used.
Church Facilities Evaluation
The basic tools used for this review are demographic studies, receptivity and attitudinal surveys.
Fresh Start uses PERCEPT, a demographic research company that specializes in assisting churches.
We also ask the local church to gather local demographic information from their city, village or township.
Windshield Survey of the community
Community Receptivity Survey
Community Attitudinal SurveyWHAT DOES THE FRESH START TEAM DO WHEN THEY COME TO OUR CHURCH?
typical consultation usually consists of three Fresh Start consultants
who come to your church and community for approximately four to fsix
days. The team usually arrives on a Tuesday afternoon and departs on a
Their work consists of conducting personal
interviews with the pastoral staff, lay-leaders and key people in the
church. In addition to a windshield survey of your community they
sometimes conduct a neighborhood walk survey talking to people in the
community about the church. The appearance, location and functionality
of your buildings and grounds are also part of the on site study.
purpose of the on site evaluations is to insure a high degree of
reliability and a true reflection of reality regarding the data
gathered through the various instruments prior to the actual
On Saturday afternoon and evening the team would
brief the pastoral staff and then the lay-leaders of the church. These
briefings would focus primarily on the team’s findings and they would
make recommendations regarding the possibilities of future ministry and
any assistance that might be available from the regional association
and Mission to the Americas
On Sunday the team would brief the
members and friends of the church during the Sunday school hour and
then cap off the morning with a Bible message during the worship hour.WHAT DOES A TYPICAL TIMELINE LOOK LIKE?
are many variables when considering a time line. Some factors include
the church calendar of events, the consultant’s availability, the
efficiency of the postal service, the availability of the other members
on the consultation team, the efficiency of the church leaders to
complete and return the diagnostic tools. Taking all these factors into
consideration, it usually takes between two to three months to schedule
an on-site consultation. Below is the outline of a possible time line.
Church votes to consult with Fresh Start Week 0
Fresh Start mails assessment tools to the church Weeks 1 - 1 to ship & arrive
Fresh Start receives assessment tools back from church Weeks 4 – 6 to complete & return
Fresh Start team reviews the assessment data Weeks 2 - 3 to review & study
Schedule on site consultation Weeks 2 – 4 to arrange & arrive
Fastest turnaround of material and consultation 9 Weeks
Slowest turnaround of material and consultation 14 Weeks
additional information or a personalized proposal for your church
contact Fresh Start in one of the following ways. Call the Fresh
Start office at 970.454.5550. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are not always available on the phone. You may contact by e-mail and we can schedule a time for us to visit.
Looking forward to serving you,
Gordon E. PenfoldPastor and Fresh Start Servant
Copyright © 2003 Fresh Start Ministries
Last modified: 08/03/07