Unsolicited Quotes from Emails to ChurchFuture

I don’t have the words for how valuable your presence was this weekend. Your wisdom, insights and leadership is much needed and highly valuable. Thank you very much! I look forward to your continued advice as we move forward.

Thank you again for your expertise, humor and caring while spending time with us in Muskegon.

You keep the meetings on schedule, get the people back to 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 in petty details. Keep on doing what you’re doing.

You’ve been a tremendous help to our process. I hate to think of meeting without your steady hand on the agenda, but we have to make this work on our own at some time.

I want to again thank you for your guidance throughout our vision process.  Your experience and tenacity were true blessings in this work.

It is a leap of faith to move forward but that is what God has called us to do so… I’m excited for the journey! You’ve been a huge asset Dave and a gift from God to us all. Thank you again.

I am so glad you have guided the 3-Church idea this past year. It has gone from a nebulous dream to an actual workable plan. We could not have gotten this far without you.

Reviews from Former Clients

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 its implementation.
Margot Olson, Falcon Heights United Church of Christ

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

Comments from Anonymous Evaluations

Mount Calvary Lutheran Exploration Team, Boulder, CO:

Beautifully organized to develop information and facilitate conversation. You managed time well and I’m glad we had you for this process.

FINALLY! A set of conversations that led to an actual decision. I was initially opposed to bringing on another consultant after our previous experience last year. So glad to be proven wrong.

I appreciate how you kept us focused and on schedule. Loved the survey and how data put together and presented.

“You were relaxed, informal and comfortable. Didn’t bring anxiety to the discussion but affirmed that the scratchy uncertainty is totally normal. Thank you!”

Muskegon Metro Ministries, Muskegon, MI

Very enlightening, Educational statistics Very worthwhile

Worthwhile–necessary Excellent Great information

Very good–lot of info and ideas Very helpful Thought provoking!

Very informative, Wonderful

Excellent information Helpful, useful Very needed

Very easy to follow–much food for thought Very good, interesting

Appreciated knowledge and experience Well done and very understandable

Was very easy to listen to. Did a good job

Good presentation Very informative–great presence

Very informed, well prepared Excellent


Nice and easy and comfortable manner. Not forceful at all–simply presented in a way to let us know our situation and possible options. Thank you.

He presented a lot of material in a very understandable way. Only having 5 hours for this he does an awesome job.

Able to explain and give info without expressing opinion. Very informative and patient

I thought David was well versed and did a great job

I know you said you didn’t make our decisions but I feel I would have welcomed your advice.

Very good, well organized, easy to hear and understand. Info very interesting

Appreciate willingness to listen as well as ability to share information. Humorous videos helped ease tensio

Toronto and Vancouver Workshops

You covered a great deal of material in a very short period of time and in an accessible way.

Very helpful, with lots to chew on. Inspiration for change.

Thank you for speaking so clearly and having such well-organized presentation.

Well worth giving up a Saturday

Vista Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Thank you for the wonderful job and assistance you brought to the consolidation team!

You did a terrific job and I’ve already recommended you to others whose churches are considering consolidation (some not Lutherans!) I appreciated your control of the meetings and interest in moving us along.

Great job.

Dave was extremely helpful in providing information that guided us to decisions. Since none of us had been through a consolidation previously, the statistical information, examples of types of consolidation, and church surveys gave us important information and ideas. We would not have been able to move ahead so quickly and surely without Dave’s help.

Dave came prepared. His work with other congregations was helpful and encouraging to us. The process seemed fast, but needed to be in our circumstance. The votes were highly in support of the consolidation and few people seem to feel the need to find another church, at least immediately while they give Vista a try. It was very helpful to have an experience leader guide us through all this.

He did a super job!