Consultancy Skills for Mission and Ministry provides a readable handbook to doing consultancy in church based organisations. Many of those who exercise ministry in churches move into roles where they are expected to supervise and support ministers and church leaders in their work. Consultancy is an effective way of doing this and provides skills and theoretical frameworks for both those working explicitly as consultants to ministers and church workers and leaders as well as for officers in churches such as Archdeacons, Superintendents, Mission Officers, local church and regional development advisers or those involved in continuing professional development. Often people moving into these roles are not provided with the specific skills and knowledge they need. Other groups who will find this book useful will include consultants who operate in commercial, public and voluntary organisations but who need to know how to apply their skills in church settings and students on courses in consultancy.
This book is the fruit of both his experience working as a consultant and teaching consultancy at York St John University (http://www.theologyinthecommunity.org.uk/courses.asp?articleID=145). David clearly sets out his focus as 'work consultancy' and differentiates this from supervision, counselling and spiritual direction. He covers topics that include: roles, process and models of consultancy, and, issues in the provision of consultancy in churches. His hope is to encourage theoretically informed intentional practice. When I started out as a diocesan officer and found myself in a consulting role I searched around for resources and at the time George Lovell's Consultancy, Ministry and Mission - A Handbook for Practitioners and Work Consultants in Christian Organisations, was the key text (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Consultancy-Ministry-Mission-George-Lovell/dp/086012312X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328786968&sr=1-1) which whilst magisterial in its breadth and depth was perhaps not the best place to start. I believe that David has succeeded in providing us with a less daunting and more accessible way into the field. He manages to do this without loss of rigour and often appreciatively in dialogue with Lovell's work. I can see this book being of value not only to diocesan officers to support their own reflection on practice but also to encourage those consultants that offer their skills from the margins of the church to reflect on the distinctiveness of their new context. This is a timely and welcomed resource." Tim Ling
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