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 provided 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 Knott, Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Dave Raymond kept us focused as we faced our new realities. His experience, anecdotes and the videos he showed mixed humor with grace, spirituality and practicality. And he learned to conduct meetings the Methodist way!
Cynthia Lueck Sowden, Grace United Methodist, Minneapolis

The Executive Board unanimously passed a motion that they reviewed and received the Vision 2014 Strategic plan, expressed appreciation to Dave Raymond and the Strategic Planning Group for their great work and the concise format, and look forward to helping with it’s implementation.
Margot Olson, Falcon Heights UCC, Falcon Heights, MN

You keep the meetings on schedule, keep people on task and close with a sense of accomplishment. May your tribe increase…at least those with your skill.  I have wrung my hands in so many church meetings as too many hours have been spent bogged down. Keep on doing what you’re doing.
David Eby, Central Community Church, Minneapolis

I want to again thank you for your guidance throughout our vision process.  Your experience and tenacity were true blessings in this work.
Linda Dierks, Reformation Lutheran, Orlando, FL

You are most enjoyable person to work with and to be with. God has and is working in your life. I look forward to working with you in the future. God bless you.
Tim Gallagher, Crown of Glory Lutheran, Chaska, MN

I met David Raymond as a new and young pastor appointed to a merged church.  I landed softly within the wild and rocky work space of a merged church precisely because Dave Raymond had tilled the soil within the churches before my arrival.I had the benefit of witnessing Dave work the soil of multiple church committee meetings deftly shepherding my people through the difficult spiritual and technical work of becoming one. Dave was masterful at guiding my church through some potentially dark days because the people trusted Dave.  People trust Dave because he speaks openly and honestly while creating a space for people to become open and honest with themselves.

I trusted Dave because I felt respected and heard and known.  He did not attempt to change me (though we all knew I had a lot to learn!) but sought to integrate me into the system of the church and build upon what he perceived to be my strengths. He recognized strengths in me that I did not know in myself.  He guided me through the hardest days of my ministry with clarity and compassion.  His wealth of knowledge of the church and church mergers and the community became a pillar of strength upon which we all leaned; it was only after Dave had left our church context did we realize that Dave had built these strengths up in us—we were able to stand firmly on the foundation.  With a handle on the big picture and competency in managing the logistical details we were shored up to be deployed.  Those who attended to the process of the merger, a mix of new and old school leadership, carried the vision of merger into the future.  Dave’s calm and flexible DNA was woven into our merger and we are still benefiting from it.
Pastor Sarah Lawton, Northeast United Methodist Church, Minneapolis

Dave is a very able leader of groups and always looks to hear all voices of those attending the meeting. He is a leader who knows how to lead but also senses when to step back and let others lead.
Marko Fields, lay leader, Grace Lutheran, Minneapolis

 Dave is a very able leader of groups and always looks to hear all voices of those attending the meeting. If questions arise, and Dave does not have the answer (which rarely happens), Dave researches the questions and either emails the answer before the next meeting or brings the information to the next meeting. He is a leader who knows how to lead but also senses when to step back and let others lead.

I know that without the help of David, this process would not have taken place. There were numerous times when individuals would get stuck in the “we do it this way” and David was able to get us thinking about “how do we want it done”.
Anonymous evaluation survey response

Dave is a very able leader of groups and always looks to hear all voices of those attending the meeting. If questions arise, and Dave does not have the answer (which rarely happens), Dave researches the questions and either emails the answer before the next meeting or brings the information to the next meeting. He is a leader who knows how to lead but also senses when to step back and let others lead.

I know that without the help of David, this process would not have taken place. There were numerous times when individuals would get stuck in the “we do it this way” and David was able to get us thinking about “how do we want it done”.
Anonymous evaluation survey response

Evaluation comments after a council retreat led by Raymond:

Excellent. He’s very good at facilitating conversation; setting that balance between keeping the group focused and letting conversation happen.

Seeing the big picture from an outside perspective was very helpful in looking at what Hope is doing in its ministry both in the church and outside. Bringing into focus areas of success and helping to outline how to go forward to build on that success and showing us areas where there is room to grow and reach out more to better serve the community and be more inclusive to our surrounding community.

Great choice

I liked the presentation and the materials to work on the goals.

Contact:  dave@churchfuture.com, 612-227-0526