ChurchFuture

ChurchFuture Clients

ChurchFuture's 80+ current and completed clients include Lutheran, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, United Presbyterian and  non-denominational churches in Minnesota and Florida. These churches range in size from 28 members to over 900.  Four of the churches are ethnic-specific and 2 meet the definition of multiracial.

 

"David Raymond, a skilled consultant and caring churchman was able to effectively lead our congregation and our local cluster of congregations into a vision for mission and ministry that we could own and develop using the tools he pro-vided during his sessions with us. He carefully and skillfully enabled us to discover together the resources we had in order to meet the common goals we established in a process that was framed by open, honest, and mutually caring conversation. David truly made it possible for us to do the work that we wanted and needed to do together without pressure or pushing his own agenda.”

 Pastor Bill KnottAbiding Savior Lutheran Church
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Client Stories

El Milagro Iglesia Lutherana/El Milagro Lutheran Church engaged ChurchFuture to help guide its transition after its pastor left. The congregation decided to close. The congregation's leaders, in cooperation with the Minneapolis Area Synod, formed a non-profit corporation, Southside Commons, to own and operate the facility as a self-sustaining community ministry center.  Southside Commons provides a home for several community nonprofit organizations. It's been self-sustaining since it started in 2014 and will serve as a Lutheran and community resource for years to come.

Fifteen Twin Cities UMC churches participated in the Healthy Small Church Initiative spoHealthy Small Church Initiativensored by the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. David Raymond  and Pastor Dennis Alexander from the conference staff led this effort. This initiative involved six workshops during the first half of 2012 along with follow-up coaching and implementation grants. Each church paid a $500 fee to participate and commited to attendance by the pastor and key lay leaders. Raymond is a co-leader for a similar effort by the Minneapolis Area Synod called Learn Lead Launch. See www.learnleadlaunch.com for more information.

In partnership with the Florida-Bahamas Synod ELCA, ChurchFuture conducted four workshops for the 15 ELCA congregations in the Fort Lauderdale area. The workshops focused on area mission strategies to show congregations how they can collaborate to be more effective.

The United Church of Christ in New Brighton, a suburb of St. Paul, was about to embark on a building project. The leaders wanted to be sure that the building planning was aligned with a renewed vision for the future, so they engaged Dave Raymond as a coach. Raymond led congregation-wide visioning, a congregation information session and a leadership retreat. This is an example of coaching that is limited in scope with a specific objective, which can be a good alternative to full-scale strategic planning.

 An historic downtown Minneapolis church, Augustana Lutheran,  lost its neighborhood due to freeways and development. Augustana was the mother or grandmother church to 7 twin cities churches and is the Community Emergency Servicefounder of Community Emergency Service, a major food shelf and social service provider. Dave Raymond was engaged to help Augustana’s leaders identify their options and come to a missional decision about their future. The congregation implemented a plan to sell the building, move to the Community Emergency Service building (pictured above) and redevelop as a congregation to reach and serve the people around its new location. You can read about the building and its possible sale in this article.

 ChurchFuture served as the consultant for two rebirth mergers in Northeast Minneapolis. Grace Lutheran Church was formed in 2007 out of three struggling nearby churches. In 2010 Grace Lutheran formed a nonprofit corporation to buy a former elementary school  using the proceeds from the sale of the beautiful but out-of-date former church buildings. This building is now the Grace Center for Community Life.  Grace Center is the home of Grace and Mercy Street Lutheran Churches, Spiro Charter School, which serves many children on the autistic spectrum, a food shelf, a Montesori preschool, and several other community groups. It's gym is used almost every night of the week by local youth sports teams. Raymond served as the planning and financing consultant for Grace Center and continues to serve as a volunteer on the board.  

Two small nearby Methodist churches formed Northeast United Methodist Church. with Raymond as a co-consultant.  That church was featured in  recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

In South Minneapolis two churches formed Living Spirit United Methodist Church in a 2009 restart merger that built on the multiracial commitment of one of the merging congregation. Raymond was a co-consultant for in this merger.

Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church in Pasco County, Florida, is a restart merger formed out of five churches, four of which were seriously struggling. Spirit of Grace has two campuses, one at each end of the county.

In March, 2013 Spirit of Grace and the Florida-Bahamas Synod ELCA asked Dave Raymond to return to Florida to help the congregation reset its future direction. Dave organized an on-line survey of congregation members that got 230 responses, and he spent four days working with Spirit of Grace leaders.

Westminster Presbyterian in New Port Richey, Florida is merging with St. Andrews Presbyterian, which is about 15 miles away in Dunedin, Florida. The Westminster congregation dwindled in numbers over the years while St. Andrews has grown. The Westminster facility will revitalize as a second campus for St. Andrews. Raymond's primary role is to help the churches develop a merger plan that enables both campuses to thrive.

Often churches that engage consultants are in trouble, but Falcon Heights UCC in suburban St. Paul was doing fine when it engaged ChurchFuture to guide a strategic planning process to equip the congregation for new service and new growth in the 21st century. The resulting plan deals with issues in that congregation’s culture as well as a vision and action steps for the future. The congregation’s new tag line is simple:  “Worship creatively. Love openly. Grow joyfully.”