Review of No Silver Bullets: 5 Small Shifts That Will Transform Your Ministry by Daniel Im

20 09 2017

It is official; I’m officially on a diet.  Wait, that is not the right terminology.  Rather, I’m changing my lifestyle.  This is not the first time that I have attempted this.  I’ve lost and gained back a first grader at least twice.  My Facebook feed is constantly filled with people who have the secret shake, pill, or wrap that will take off the pounds but most

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experts agree that it takes hard work and change to truly make this happen.  I need more than just a super pill or drink; I need subtle but necessary changes.

That is the premise of Daniel Im in his newest book No Silver Bullets: 5 Small Shifts That Will Transform Your Ministry released by B&H Publish Group, a book I highly recommend to the pastor and leader who wants to see his church make a vital impact on the Kingdom of God.  Instead of looking for a quick one size fits all approach to ministry, Daniel challenges the reader to rather consider making small shifts that will in time lead to great change and fruitfulness in your ministry.  I must admit this book made me think about how we do ministry at the church that I pastor.  I found myself validated in a few areas but in need of reevaluation in others.

Daniel serves as the director of Church Multiplication for NewChurches.com and Lifeway Christian resources.  His position and his past experience has allowed him to bring us a book packed full of research and practical recommendations.  Having access to the Lifeway research department has allowed him to have access to the data that really makes his writing full of time tested truth.  This book is not something that you will lay down to never visit again.  The self assessments and audits make it a tool for future use with your leadership team.  I have read books that discussed to great length vision, strategy, and values.  Daniel explained each of these in simple terms but also gave you these great audits to look at with your leadership team.  The questions were simple but reveal the missing pieces in these areas.

You could tell that the author has been thinking about this for sometime, even back to the days of when he was serving the local church before serving at Lifeway.  Several times as he explained how he had implemented these shifts, I found myself thinking that I was going to be a thief and use his successful approach.

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Probably my favorite part of the book is the treasure trove of quotes.  I found myself highlighting, not only Daniel’s work, but also all of the various authors that he has pulled into his work.  This will cause me to pull this book down time and time again.

If you are looking for a very practical work that could make a huge difference in your church, you would do well to pick up his work.

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My Church is Too Crowded!

6 09 2017

This past Sunday was our church’s 4 year anniversary of the day we merged with New Life Baptist Church.  It was a great day of celebration and I’m so very thankful for it.  Our worship team was amazing and our speaker was inspiring.  Our fellowship afterwards 6a0120a4f88a1c970b017d3c8c087d970cwas second to none.  We had plenty of food and plenty of seats thanks to the tent that we put up.  I noticed something though.  I noticed that some of our church family still didn’t stay for the meal afterwards.  When asked why I was told that the crowd is just too much for them.  We were crowded.  Even though we made arrangements for more seats they still chose to go home.  It is not a bad problem to have.

Here is my thinking and it comes after reading and praying about this for several months.  Calvary is in the business of reaching people.  We are greatly committed to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.  We never want to get to the place where we just maintain what we have because that isn’t what God has called us to be and to do.  He has called us to keep reaching people in the name of Jesus Christ.  Sunday was a Sunday like many Sundays that we have experienced.  Our service was packed. Yes, it was a special Sunday but we have done this with Sundays that nothing special was planned.  We are in the season of growing.

I read this past week about the Bonsai tree.  Did you know that there is nothing really special about that tree.  It has the DNA of every other tree but it is put in a pot that restricts its growth.  We don’t want to restrict the growth of our church because we have just not made the room.  That is why we have sought to become creative as too how we can continue to grow.

There are a couple of things that we can do as a church.  We can go to two services, a earlier service and a later.  Timing is everything on this move and we will have to make sure that our congregation understands this.  We are doing this so that we can continue to reach people but to do this it will take volunteers.  We will need committed worship leaders, committed first impression team members, and committed people to come to an earlier service.  Many churches make the move unsuccessfully and I don’t want to do that.

The second thing that we have suggested is to give our children their own time of worship downstairs while we worship upstairs.  Some of our congregation has pushed back on this idea and I understand why as I too agree that it is important that children see their moms and dads worship.  I only see this as an intermediate step that we will reverse when we grow to the point where we can go to two services.  At that point we would discontinue the children’s worship time and return to letting them loose before the sermon.  This intermediate step of having children’s worship will free up some room and hopefully keep from happening what happened Sunday.  I don’t want any of our regular attenders or guests to not come back because we are just too crowded.

What happened?  People chose to not do something because it was too crowded.  It was not worth the trouble.  They wanted their space and they went home.

I just don’t want that to happen in a worship service.  So we need room.  We need first impression team members and security members in our parking lot helping people find their spot.  We need for people to continue to sacrifice and serve by parking away allowing our guests to take the best spots.  Honestly, I need for you to be open to the idea of our children worshiping together downstairs before their children’s church Bible study.

Macon County needs us.  They need us to sacrifice so that we can make room for them. Pray that God would give us wisdom to make wise decisions in the coming days.  Pray that we continue to reach people are are far from God.  I want us to take as many to Heaven with us as we can.  I want us to disciple the nations.  I want us to love God and love others.