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Consultancy, Ministry and Mission: A handbook for practitioners and work consultants in Christian organizations

George Lovell
(Burns and Oates 2000)
400pp £25.00

This book is the companion volume to Analysis and Design.

This teach yourself book will help people to get and to give qualitative non-directive consultancy support and assistance in relation to their vocational work. Careful attention is paid to the complementary contributions of those seeking consultancy help and those providing it, necessary if the processes are to be effective. The book is designed to help consultors and consultants to develop and deploy their own models of consultancy. Beyond any doubt, consultancy is a good investment: it improves performance of practitioners, churches and organizations out of all proportion to its cost in time and money. It helps individuals and groups to see how to do things that previously stumped them; it revivifies them and renews job satisfaction; it is an essential corollary to appraisal; it helps practitioners to be accountable to themselves; it is a twin to facilitation; it helps people to think about practice and mission. Yet little is written about this much-needed and scarce resource. This book makes consultancy far more accessible to practitioners, anyone engaged in appraisal schemes, those engaged in pastoral management such as bishops, and those who train people for ministry

The book examines in detail seven interrelated elements of consultancy practice theory: roles; interpersonal behaviour; working relationships; providing help through work-views; thinking together; systemics and logistics; beliefs, values and ethics. It describes the theological and operational nature of church and community work (in contradistinction to the infinite number of forms it takes) and what effective practitioners need to be, to know, and to do. Various ways of providing consultancy help to individuals and groups through private sessions and in-service training courses are described. Consultancy processes are illustrated, and twenty trouble-shooting charts are given. Comprehensive indexes make it suitable for use as a manual, for reference and study.


“A book such as this which presents the deep reflection of the author on both his extensive experience as a consultant within the Church and his conceptualisation of what he does is significant. It provides important perspectives on how the human sciences can help the work of the Church and how Church leaders and workers can draw on expertise and help to enable them to perform their roles.”

David Coghlan SJ in 'Doctrine & Life'

“Consultancy is a creative process which intertwines the insights of the behavioural sciences and Christian theological reflection...
Over a thirty year period Lovell has become the leading theorist and practitioner of work consultancy for church and community workers. This magisterial and timely volume captures every significant insight and piece of wisdom in the field. It is not a book to read from cover to cover. It is an encyclopaedia to dig into time and again, to capitalize on the opportunities of work consultancy, on the part of both practitioners and consultants.”

David G. Deeks in 'The Expository Times'