In consulting with churches I have become dismayed over the numerous attempts at revitalizing or rebuilding a congregation only to see them crash back into their old, unhealthy patterns. This phenomenon happens more often than not which has led me to wonder what key factor causes these consultations to fail.

What I will highlight may be shocking to some but after three decades of observing hundreds of churches I've come to believe that one key reason why church consultations fail is because so many church leaders refuse to go through personal brokenness and surrender before God in order to experience genuine spiritual renewal.

Surrender Before Spiritual Revival

Church consultants are typically brought in when a congregation hits rock bottom, or is near death's door from factionalism or loss of vision. These churches are already deeply wounded and in desperate need of spiritual healing; however, many leaders don't want to tackle the underlying issues blocking their congregation from experiencing true revival. As a result they bypass authentic spiritual transformation in favor of externally driven programs and schemes.

The willingness to undergo personal brokenness and surrender is crucial for genuine spiritual renewal. A true consultation seeks to identify systemic roots causing a church's decline, its subterranean fault lines, its unseen strongholds, and only then does it aim to craft a biblical blueprint for growth.

Missing Foundation of True Renewal

Many church leaders avoid going through deep soul searching and repentance because it means recognizing their failures in leadership, lack of devotion, or poor example setting. They mistakenly think that consulting firms are there solely to repair the church's external circumstances while overlooking their own spiritual health. But the absence of personal brokenness and surrender sets up a faulty foundation for any true spiritual renewal and results in a hollow shell of change that won't last.

Sadly, church consultations can easily become band-aid solutions if leaders don't confront their pride, greed, envy, lust for power among other sinful behaviors that have been overlooked and unexamined. These hidden issues must be tackled head on. Failing to face them will lead to empty attempts at fixing the symptoms rather than treating the root causes of spiritual sickness.


As a church consultant, I urge congregational leaders to embrace personal brokenness and surrender for themselves as well as their respective churches. Such submission before God allows room for grace-driven spiritual healing and genuine renewal that provides long term restoration rather than temporary repair work. Remembering this essential truth when initiating a church consultation can make all the difference between true spiritual revival and a false hope of superficial change. It takes courage to face our weaknesses, but the rewards of humility far outweigh the costs of prideful stubbornness.