Dave Travis

Strategic Counsel to Pastors & Church Boards

Meet Dave Travis

Dave Travis has advised large church pastors for over 30 years.

Twenty-three of those years were spent with Leadership Network, where he led the large church area and then retired as CEO in 2018.

Since then, he has worked with dozens of churches and their leaders, helping guide them to solve wicked, sticky challenges through his role as Director of Strategic Counsel to Pastors and Church Boards at Generis.

He has created multiple processes in that role, including the Pastor Smart Succession Process, Storycrafting for Church Strategy, and Building Better Boards. His latest is the Pastor Legacy Life Plan, a coaching process to help mid-career pastors for their future legacy seasons.

He has mangled the English language to embarrass his English teacher mother and assemble 11 books, booklets, and e-books. Dozens sold, half dozens read.

He previously spoke at large church conferences, including some of the big-name ones. But that always left him feeling empty, as his inspiring talks did little to help people implement and go deeper to turn ideas into action. He tends to avoid those now.

In addition to degrees from Georgia Tech and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has certificates and training from Harvard Business School, Wicked Problem-Solving Practitioner, from the Project Managers Institute, Million Dollar Consulting with Alan Weiss, Workshop Facilitation with AJ and Smart, and the Association of Conceptual Frameworkers.

But beyond that, he credits his long association with Lyle Schaller, Peter Drucker, and Bob Buford for shaping his consulting approaches.

While Dave brings dozens of tools to each of his processes, the clients report that his most important contribution is facilitating focused conversations to drive change and action. Dave leads from behind or the middle, not putting himself out front but helping equip and guide the church and organization’s leaders to drive the action steps needed to improve outcomes and health.

See his Church Leader Insider newsletter on substack or his Great Things God Has Done podcast for more.


There are seasons in every church where a team needs to go heads down and implement a new strategy or solve a pressing problem. In a Ministry Strategy engagement, one or more of our leaders will help you uncover the right solutions for the season you’re in. They will also walk alongside to help you execute with greater speed and effectiveness. Journeys like these are highly tailored to your unique church mission, culture and people.

Succession is the intentional transition of power, authority and responsibility from one primary leader to another. In most of these cases the Senior Leader seeks to productively transition their own ministry and the life of the church to a new season. Many of these are founders, or “founder-like” in that the ministry has significantly grown over many years of ministry. The church is often ill-prepared to deal with the situation because of the size of the church. Copying another church’s process is often not the best choice for many churches. Why? Because each church has unique dynamics and cultures.

From time to time every church finds itself in a place where it needs to examine its future ministry plans. The results of the current ministry direction are not seeing the fruit desired. The leaders desire to look and consider deeply what the future could hold for the church.

Alignment of the board, strategic leadership team and staff is essential to a church making strides towards its goals. Every few years growing, vital churches need to adjust and sometimes change the plans, structures and responsibilities to productively move into its next season.


Contact Dave Travis