“I have known Bill since his student days at Lancaster Seminary. I was very pleased that Church of the Apostles called him as senior interim pastor in 2003. Bill brought strong leadership to the church, supported by excellent pastoral and organizational skills. His organizational leadership was balanced by leadership in worship. In two years he enabled the church to develop new leaders, re-write the By-laws and policies for governance, develop short and long range plans, and re-organize the pastoral and support staff. To do all of this it was necessary to deal with the basic issue of a serious church conflict, with deep feelings on both sides and the loss of some members. Bill is forthright and direct, asking people to face what happened and engage in discussion that can actually lead to common ground. He is in command of strategies to overcome conflict and build a new community. Most important, he adapts and designs these strategies for the situation at hand, rather than following a rigid schedule or procedure. In the case of Apostles, he was able to move a large church forward because he is highly organized, communicates well with council, committees and the entire congregation, and works very hard. If at the point of his call there were people wondering if the price was too high, at the point of his departure people thanked God that we had the opportunity to have him as the transition leader. He is truly qualified as an interim pastor.”

Peter Schmiechen
Member of Church of the Apostles UCC and President Emeritus, Lancaster Seminary Lancaster, PA



“I write this as a veteran interim/transition minister and sometimes supervisor of interims-in-training, as well as a member of Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ. As a member of the Church Council and the Leadership Planning Team and chair of the Stewardship Commission I was highly involved in many facets of the life of the church prior to and during Pastor Metzger’s two-year interim there. Apostles is a large and complex congregation which was deeply wounded by internal conflict prior to Pastor Metzger’s arrival. His service was extraordinarily helpful. Let me cite a few key features: He emphasized, with deliberate redundancy, the various functions of the church, from worship to governance, as sacred work which should be grounded in the classical Reformed tradition, beginning with the Scriptures, and manifest the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. He commanded—and modeled—a climate of openness and honest, direct communication, without triangulation and without secrets, but also without violating appropriate confidentiality. He consistently maintained a non-anxious presence while being unfailingly vigorous and energetic in both initiative and responsive leadership. He related well to persons of all ages, including children. He was unrelenting in pursuit of the classical tasks of interim ministry, prompting the congregation to work through and accept its history, moving through anxiety, grief and self-doubt to hopefulness and confidence; identify its strengths and weaknesses and own the ingredients of its complex identity; reaffirm its denominational and ecumenical connections; envision its future; etc. He reconfigured the power dynamics in the congregation. In a very dialectical fashion he first drew a great deal of power and authority to himself, and quickly re-empowered the elected leaders and involved participants through personal counsel and support, creating the Leadership Planning Team, frequent congregational forum gatherings, disciplined review and revision of the statement of mission, by-laws and policy manuals, and Sunday schedule for worship and education. He reorganized the pastoral staff, utilizing seasoned pastors who contributed to the sense of stability as well as the climate of care. He provided major guidance in reorganizing the professional and lay staff and clarifying personnel policies, including revision of compensation schedules. In all of this he earned the trust of the elected leaders and members, and demanded and received from them a high level of cooperation and participation. He was not dissuaded, yet did not become unkindly, when others became weary or resistant. Insofar as possible, he connected with disaffected members in a non-judgmental way and encouraged them to clarify for themselves the future of their relationship with the church. As with any pastorate, a lot of pastoral care was provided without being open to public scrutiny. His ego was large and strong but never for his own personal aggrandizement. He modeled maintaining healthy boundaries, including the boundary between personal and professional. His exercise of power was powerful, artful, and never abusive. He left the congregation much healthier than it was when he arrived. In sum, I commend the ministry of A. William Metzger at Church of the Apostles as a model for the complex church.”

Rev. Donald Freeman
PhD Church Council Member, Leadership Planning Team Member, Chair of the Stewardship Commission,
Church of the Apostles UCC
Professor Emeritus, Lancaster Theological Seminary Lancaster, PA



“Rev. William Metzger came to our church in late 2003, after a serious schism had developed among our members. Our church had been torn apart by two contending groups, arguing primarily over the evangelical thrust that some of our leadership seemed to be following. Many of those of the more evangelical persuasion left the church, as did many persons who were unhappy with the acrimony that they were witnessing among supposedly good Christians. Many of us who remained were not at all certain that our church could survive. Rev. Metzger proved to be the perfect leader for our time of crisis. Not only was he an excellent administrator and facilitator, but he was also a wonderful pastoral leader. He led us through a careful examination of what had gone wrong, always emphasizing that we should be careful not to assess blame but only to make certain that something like this could not happen again. One of his most important contributions was leading in the development of a code of conduct for our members, a code which emphasized being non-judgmental, talking thinks through and always examining our own motives in every situation. While Rev. Metzger was with us, we began the search for a permanent minister. There could be no better endorsement of Rev. Metzger’s time with us than the number of church members who often expressed the impossible wish that he could become our permanent minister.”

John M. Hess
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“I cannot say enough about Pastor Bill’s ability to turn a hurtful congregation into a renewed, thriving, happy membership again. His leadership exceeded our expectations. His ability to bring our congregation back on the path after several years of confusion and lack of direction impressed all of us. We healed our wounds and are coming back better and stronger than before thanks to Bill. Bill has a sincere desire to help. He is kind, thorough, on top of any situation that may arise and really does get the job done.”

Harold S. Rhodes Jr.
Treasurer, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“The services came to Church of the Apostles through Rev. Bill Metzger at a time when there was great division and chaos. There was a lack of pastoral and lay leadership. Upon his departure from this Intentional Interim, Rev. Metzger had led the congregation through a discernment process which removed most of the divisiveness and strengthened the laity to find leadership and to be ready to be a united congregation with new pastoral leadership chosen. The process of open dialog with printed information for all members to have available proved to be a vital factor in the process.”

Sally Bright
Church and Ministry Liaison to Church of the Apostles Lancaster Association United Church of Christ


“Pastor Bill was invested in Apostles’ success from the beginning of his ministry with us—he was always more than an “interim”. Through that investment, he was most successful in developing the emotional ownership required from our own lay leadership to build a successful vision for the Church. Yes, he guided us through the difficult process of taking responsibility for our own future, but he did it in such an empowering way, that even the most timid among us were always energized and optimistic of the future. Having worked with many consultants over the course of my career, Pastor Bill will always stand out in my mind for his human skill. He fully grasped the significance of our challenges and the objective of his engagement—and was successfully able, in a very short time, to empower us, as lay leadership, to “own that vision” and energetically work toward it. Such leadership is rare in any situation, but particularly from an interim with caring for the people behind the engagement, make the difference. I shall miss him; indeed I already do, as a role model and mentor. He continues to serve, in my memory, as an excellent example of how to behave and achieve positive results in a variety of challenging situations. We cannot thank him enough for the work that he did at Church of the Apostles.”

Jackie Diffenderffer
Search Committee Member, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Bill faced the task of reuniting and keeping a divided church congregation united. This required all the skills Bill has acquired through his diversified education, industrial/business experience and a well grounded theological approach. As the Senior Intentional Interim Pastor he explored in depth the deep rooted problem areas and then disseminated each one with the precision a skilled surgeon would employ to remove a ‘cancer’. In whatever field, business, education, theological, Bill will provide the leadership, wisdom and friendship to attain unbelievable positive results.”

Carl F. Bernhardt
Past Council President, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA


“Pastor Bill Metzger accepted a big challenge, to rebuild a congregation torn by diverse opinions and personalities. He guided a leadership planning team to write new by-laws and make personal commitments to the success of a rebuilt Church of the Apostles. Our many thanks to Pastor Bill.”

Robert L. Miller
Council Member, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“There are too many adjectives to describe the satisfaction I have witnessed during the time you guided us to a point of strength to continue on our own. Thorough, respectful, detailed, complete, comprehensive, sincere, organized—are just a few words to describe your work. It was difficult to see you leave Church of the Apostles, but we are all better people for having had the privilege of your guidance at a difficult time as well. All the work was not as painful as it could have been, but because of your great sense of humor it wasn’t so cumbersome! I am grateful our paths have crossed—thank you!”

Alice Peterson
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“As a member of a church that was ‘struggling’ to find itself over two years ago I must admit that Renaissance Consulting Group brought all my brothers and sisters to a better understanding of each other; our needs and values were understood and improved and an air of ‘we can do this’ was lovingly and genuinely created, with God’s help, to set all of us upon a path of Christian love and accomplishments. All the above would not have happened without the grace of God and Rev. A. William Metzger.”

Thomas E. Rex
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Had it not been for Rev. Bill Metzger’s leadership, Church of the Apostles may have had to close its doors or, at least, drop its affiliation with the United Church of Christ. Thanks to his gentle but strict leadership, a church once split down the middle with internal problems is back on track with a growing congregation planning for the future, an active youth movement, an enlightened sense of community outreach to those in need, a balanced budget, and a quality leadership core. Pastor Bill’s legacy to us is his focus on the Fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, generosity, self control, and a humble and contrite heart. With a congregation intent on developing these personal traits, Church of the Apostles is marching into the future with greater faith and hope than it had at any time in the past. Thank you, God, for sending Pastor Bill our way.”

John M. Silknetter
Council Member—Outreach Commission Member, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Bill Metzger successfully guided our church through a very difficult time. Bill is highly organized, a quick learner and was able to quickly analyze the church’s current state and successfully led our leadership planning team in the development of our future state plans. Bill is hard-working, gets tasks accomplished in a timely manner and is focused on the established mission. He related well to people of all ages within our church community. During his tenure as our Intentional Interim Lead Pastor, church services once again provided significant meaning. I often thought if I were a visitor looking for a church family, this would be a church I would feel compelled to join. During my business career, I was responsible for the selection of consultants to help our business accomplish various tasks and missions. Based on our positive experience, I would highly recommend the use of Renaissance Consulting’’s services.”

Lou Gaudioso
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Pastor Bill has performed his duties for the Church of the Apostles in a more than exemplary fashion. His excellent leadership skills empowered the people of Church of the Apostles. He guided us to list and review the good and not so good events of our past history. We assessed our present situation, and he gave us the courage to move forward. Pastor Bill gave us those tools which we needed to succeed. He helped us formulate our future to use our own gifts and talents to do God’s work. Pastor Bill was an instrument when Church of the Apostles needed God’s guidance. With a straightforward and commanding presence, Pastor Bill’s leadership skills, organization qualities and sincerity of spirit are positive characteristics. His personality meets others on mutually common ground. His ‘people’ skills meet and greet others with a ‘You are special’ flare. He can be serious, light and downright comical. He is a unique gift sent by God to be shared by many. He is also blessed with a wonderful family of his own. It was a pleasure to work with Pastor Bill. Church of the Apostles has learned much about ourselves and our faith while he was among us. As a Search Committee member, his expertise and wisdom were very valuable and appreciated.”

Eileen Shaffer Thomas
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Bill Metzger came into our congregation at a time of high stress, fractured membership full of self doubts and no direction. He took the leadership and congregation on a course of self evaluation and study. He set down a strict set of conduct guidelines that eliminated destructive undertones and behavior. We studied our past history and analyzed our successes and failures that brought us to that point. Bill Metzger’s forceful presence, analytical perspective, insightful feedback and attention to details has proved to be the exact combination that helped save our congregation!”

Stephen Daniels
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Bill contracted to deliver a program of renewal for Church of the Apostles with a membership of 1000 in a specific time period. He successfully completed the project within the parameters of his contract. As an unbiased consultant possessing remarkable spiritual and practical gifts he gained the confidence of a broken congregation and led the members to create a healthy organization so that the church now stands on the brink of realizing great possibilities for the future.”

William E. Irwin
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Rev. Metzger was a welcomed friend, leader and consultant at Church of the Apostles. He was able to provide hope and leadership to Church of the Apostles during a very difficult time. Bill’s business development and planning was essential to getting Church of the Apostles back on the right path both spiritually and financially. His leadership, guidance and personality will be sorely missed at Church of the Apostles, but during his tenure he was able to build a solid foundation that will allow the Church of the Apostles’ leadership and congregation to grow in the right direction (to God!).”

Timothy R. Leedy
Church Council Member, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“During a tumultuous time in our church, concerning leadership and direction, I welcomed Bill Metzger’s proposal to come to our church as the intentional interim minister. He proposed to “right the ships” and send us on our way—a better church. His dynamic presentation at that time convinced me that he was the man for the position. He impressed me so much that at a subsequent meeting, held to vote on his investiture I stood to declare that I likened Bill Metzger as the “best oncologist to cure our loved ones cancer”. Not being a very communicative person I can honestly state that this letter of endorsement of Pastor Bill is my testament to the wonderful abilities of this man. He cured the ills of the church and instilled order where there had been confusion and disarray. All of the steps he outlined in his original proposal were completed to the satisfaction of all in the church. I am glad I crossed Bill Metzger’s path in life. He left me a better man and I can easily state that I haven’t met any better man than he is.”

George Ott
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Pastor Bill provided stability during an unsettled period at Church of the Apostles. He led the congregation through a 2 year spiritual journey that taught us what a healthy church is and how to become one. We worked together to lay the foundation to accomplish this goal. In the end, we used these tools to select a Senior Pastor. Pastor Bill was always honest and open and provided the leadership that was needed to carry Church of the Apostles forward.”

Judy Waltman
Leadership Planning Team Member, Search Committee Member,
Education Commission Member, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Bill gave Church of the Apostles a way to focus on the work at hand. His well thought-out and extremely thorough process work empowered the leadership of the church to move forward in a critical time.”

Marja Coons Torn
Conference Minister, Penn Central Conference



“Two years ago, ours was a seriously fractured congregation. You led us through a systematic and spiritually based process of self-discovery and reconciliation. Your guidance, coaching and organization were instrumental to our recovery. Thank you for being such a positive and thoughtful shepherd to this congregation!”

Peter Van Buskirk
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“We here at Church of the Apostles were more than satisfied with the guidance and leadership provided by Pastor Bill Metzger of Renaissance Consulting in the two years he spent with us. He required a real commitment from those of us thrust into leadership positions to work through and understand our situation at Church of the Apostles. Through thorough examination of past mistakes and future expectations, he helped us put into place procedures for preventing future conflict. He helped us to understand our obligation to our UCC denomination, and in turn their obligation to us. His business background and talent for administration helped us to restore our staff’s ability to serve the Church. Pastor Bill had a genuine concern for our members, and interacted with each of us on a personal basis. His sense of humor lightened many moments of tension and endeared him to children and adults alike. He spent many hours writing, organizing, e-mailing our procedures and policies after consulting with various committees. At personal expense of his time to himself and his family, he logged many hours commuting between Lancaster and his home. He will be “a hard act to follow” here, but hopefully he has prepared us to select a pastor who understands our needs and will be able to lead us into the future.”

Marianne Thoman
Outreach Commission Chair, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“My contact with Bill Metzger came as a member of the leadership planning team and co-chair of the search committee. Bill possessed the leadership skills to guide Church of the Apostles through conflict management, comprehensive plans for lay ministry, covenant for Christian leadership and statements of vision, values and mission, etc. Through his forums and valuable insight, Bill guided the search committee in obtaining the wealth of information needed to provide the pastoral candidate with the completion of the local church profile. During his two years plus with Church of the Apostles, Bill had gained the respect of all church members and healed us from within. I personally highly recommend Bill Metzger.”

John S. Eshbach
Co-chair of Search Committee, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Your services were invaluable to a congregation that was torn, shocked, and baffled by the events that transpired. You presented your program, one that put us to task involving us in the healing and restructuring process of the church. We learned a lot about ourselves, the church’s affiliation with the UCC on the national and local levels, and the varying types of leadership styles within churches (i.e. senior pastor, etc.). Your personality, professionalism, and managerial skills were instrumental in re-staffing the church at a level we could afford and also the reviewing of all the church policies. With your guidance we now have a much healthier church, a wonderful new pastor, and a much brighter future. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of paper but the end result was nothing short of a miracle as God worked through all of us here at Apostles! Thanks so much for all that you helped us with and may God bless you and your family!”

Herbert Forry
Property Commission Chairperson, Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Church of the Apostles had gone through some traumatic conflicts which caused a large number of people to leave the church. A prior interim minister had failed to help the congregation resolve their differences. Pastor Bill’s services enabled the congregation to learn communication skills to help enable successful change management; to take ownership of their actions and words; and, to work together for common goals even if they disagreed on theological issues.”

Cathy Kenlin
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA



“Bill Metzger’s skills in conflict management are exemplary. Through his guidance and direction, the congregation was able to work through difficult issues to determine a root cause for its problems, rather than settling for easy answers or false conjecture. His approach was disciplined, with a strong focus on personal integrity and accountability. He directed open and frank discussions, facilitated negotiations, and encouraged the practice of consensus based on a covenantal model for Christian behavior. It is unusual to find a pastor who is equally gifted in both ministerial and business acumen. Bill’s secular experience in management is an incredible asset, because he has been able to take the best practices of the corporate world and adapt them to church leadership. Bill has a passion for organization, for goal-setting, for motivating and challenging others, and is committed to working with people towards a common goal. We were graced with his wonderful sense of humor, his tireless optimism, and his rock-solid faith during the time that he spent at Church of the Apostles. I would have no reservations about engaging Renaissance Consulting in the future and would recommend Bill Metzger to any church that is struggling with interpersonal discord.”

Karen L. Lovelace
Church of the Apostles UCC Lancaster, PA





Renaissance Consulting Group, Inc.
7753 Herstra Court • New Tripoli, PA 18066 • 610-298-3304

   


Solidly rooted in systems theory and the practical application of systems analysis, Renaissance's primary focus is assisting organizations in recreating leadership and planning for renewed performance by:

• developing well differentiated leaders

strategic mission-driven operational and long range planning

program and process assessment and redesign

improving work group dynamics

Board governance

conflict resolution concepts techniques and skill development

succession planning

project management processes, policies and tools

improving teamwork

operational effectiveness and efficiency

Renaissance offers a variety of workshops addressing topics such as business planning, process improvement, Board development & governance, conflict resolution, leadership development and succession planning.