Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
View Section Navigation
Hide Section Navigation
Church Consulting and Strategic Planning


GFA’s desire is to assist the local church by helping them assess their ministry and advise them in fulfilling God mandate to the church. This ministry is best accomplished by forming strong relationships with pastors as they seek to lead their churches to evangelize the lost and disciple the saved.

Dr. Marshall Fant leads this ministry to local churches. Dr. Fant has 21 years of experience as a pastor and 20 years of experience as a business owner. Dr. Fant earned a D.Min. from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Bob Jones University, and a B.S. in administrative management from Clemson University. He is certified as a church consultant with the Society for Church Consulting. He is available to meet with pastors and church leadership at their church or by phone. You may contact him at mfant@gfamissions.org. See here for ministry referrals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there a charge for this service? GFA’s first priority is to assist the local church. We ask churches to help offset the cost when they are able. This cost would include time, travel expenses, and reports such as a demographic survey or Church Health Survey. We realize some churches may not be in a position to pay for this service. Please contact Dr. Fant to discuss your church’s situation.


  1. What will our church need to do to prepare for the consultation?
    1. The church will need to provide as much as possible of the following data for the last 10 years:
      1. Budgets and financial reports.
      2. Number of members for each year.
      3. Number of baptisms for each year.
      4. Attendance for weekly services including Sunday school, AM, PM, midweek service.
      5. Significant events in the church. This would include but not limited to: changes in the senior pastor or pastoral staff, building programs, conflict(s), change in philosophy of ministry.
    2. The church will need to pay for two studies. The first is a demographic study of your area. The cost for this study is about $250.00. The second study is the Church Health Survey. It is a survey you give your church meOpen_Bible_2.jpgmbers at least two months before the consultation. We recommend having as many members as possible to participate in the survey, with at least 15% participating. The cost of the survey depends on the number of participants. The price is $310.00 for 45 participants. The price for each additional survey ranges from $1.00 to $2.00 depending on the number of additional surveys needed. Samples of both of these studies are available.
    3. The leadership will need to complete a study of the churches described in Acts 2 and Revelation 2-3. This study will be sent to you. 


  1. How long does the consultation last? A typical on-site consultation schedule would be:
    1. Friday morning: Arrive.
    2. Friday early afternoon: Meeting with the senior pastor.
    3. Friday evening: Two-three hour meeting with pastor and church leadership for prayer, observations, questions/answers, discussion of the study of the churches in Acts 2 and Revelation 2-3, and to set the agenda for Saturday.
    4. Saturday morning: Meeting with pastor, leadership, and congregation to review assessment, questions/answers, encourage, and identify priorities.
    5. Saturday afternoon/evening: Conduct any personal interviews if needed.
    6. Sunday: Observe services and assist in ways determined by pastor and leadership. This could include teaching and preaching.
    7. Sunday evening: Conclusions and wrap-up.
    8. Monday morning: Depart.


  1. What are the components of the consultation? There are four primary components. They are theology/philosophy, leadership/staffing, finances, and facilities. Some of the secondary components that may be covered are strategic planning, security, social media, financial reviews, conflict resolution, etc.


  1. Is there follow-up after the consultation? Yes. The follow-ups are at three months, six months, one year, and two years. The three-month and six-month are normally by phone. The one-year and two-year can be done by phone, but we prefer to do these in person if possible.


  1.  Is it possible for revitalization to take place in churches today? Yes. We can provide a list of pastors and churches that are experiencing the blessings of people coming to Christ, being baptized, joining the church, and then making disciples of others.


  1. Are there resources available to equip our church for revitalization? Yes. There is good material for training your church members in areas of evangelism, discipleship, counseling, and community outreach.


  1. When is it better to close a church or merge with another church (instead of revitalization)? That is a very good question and a hard question to answer. We cannot advise you without an on-site consultation. Any decision like this must also be covered in prayer by all parties involved.