I've often wondered how many people make their living as consultants, and of those who do, how effective and/or successful they have been. Consulting implies expertise in a given field.
Today I drove up to a church in Racine, Wisconsin to meet with eight women who serve as administrative professionals at a large church there. The purpose of my going (in theory) was to advise them on how to best support their pastors while maintaining healthy boundaries. Effective time management was a universal concern. I have not been pursuing any type of consultant work and this invite came as a great surprise, but after much prayerful consideration I decided to give it a shot.
I'm glad I didn't rush into it. We've been corresponding back and forth for several months which has allowed me valuable time to both prepare and consider what I'd be bringing to the table. It's always good to know what someone's objectives are before you go trying to meet them.
Because our work is in essence ministry, I decided to start with a devotion that I "borrowed" from one of our pastors from Exodus Chapters 3 & 4 when God tells Moses he's the chosen leader who gets to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. Those who know the story remember Moses was less than thrilled. In fact his first response was "Who am I that I should go?" I personally think that's a very healthy perspective. I thought about that myself when considering if I would use my only day off this week and have these nice folks pay my mileage to come and hold a workshop for them. I mean, "Who am I that I should go?"
I thought long and hard about what I had to offer and reminded myself I may end up learning as much as I "taught" before I got in the car. Turns out that several of them found at least part of what I shared very helpful. And it did end up being a good learning experience for me. I'm not sure that anyone was convinced I was an expert in my field, least of all me, but maybe that wasn't the point. Maybe it's enough to provide a little insight, simplify a thing or two and extend some relief.
I don't think I'll be rushing into the consulting business anytime soon, but I'm glad for the opportunity to wade in those waters.
Next up...I think I may have to consult someone about my back pain....