- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: B&H Books (September 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781433651540
- ISBN-13: 978-1433651540
- ASIN: 1433651548
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 108 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry Paperback – September 1, 2017
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"While discipling others who will then disciple others is Jesus' master plan, defining maturity is sometimes tricky. I'm grateful that Daniel outlines a research-based, yet practical way, to understand and move people toward Christlikeness. Don't miss this.
"Daniel Im is a brilliant young thought leader who in No Silver Bullets offers hope to every leader by showing us five micro shifts that can bring macro changes in our churches. This book is a reality check reminding us quick fixes will not bring lasting change; but a change in perspective can usher in a new day. If you are done with easy solutions and ready for a clear path to lasting change this is the book for you!"
"No Silver Bullets is as good a read as the title is honest. Finally a new, young voice enters the fray with clear thinking, rational conclusions, and a radical call. I felt lit up, called out, and calmed down all at the same time."
"In this important book, Daniel returns discipleship to the center of the church's ministry. The discipleship process begins in evangelism and progresses all the way through healthy involvement in a local church. Daniel, who practices what he preaches, offers practical, inspiring stories and steps to guide you through every step of this process."
About the Author
Daniel Im is the Director of Church Multiplication for NewChurches.com at LifeWay Christian Resources. He is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multisite church in Nashville. He is the author of No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry, and co-author of Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply (2nd ed) with Ed Stetzer. He also co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast, and a brand new podcast with his wife on marriage and parenting called the IMbetween Podcast.
Daniel has an M.A. in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about leadership and the local church. He loves to be a part of creating the systems, strategies, tools and resources to help new churches get planted, campuses get started, and catalyze churches towards multiplication. He has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville.
Daniel is a scholar-practioner who can not only create theory, but also implement it in an innovative way to solve problems. His experience and strength is in creating alignment and momentum within teams and churches by implementing strategies and systems to move the church towards multiplication. In other words, he is a strategic thinker that can produce, rather than a strategic thinker that can muse.
Daniel is also a Gallup Strengths Performance Coach (Strengths Advisor) and has led over 500 people through the StrengthsFinder assessment in multiple countries. He is a Maximizer, Learner, Intellection, Developer, Strategic, Achiever, Input, and Relator
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Summary of Content
Section one focuses on five micro-shifts. The five small shifts with big results are the following:
(1) from destination to direction,
(2) from output to input,
(3) from sage to guide,
(4) from form to function,
(5) from maturity to missionary.
From destination to direction speaks about a view of discipleship and changing the church’s program from a series of classes to events that move people toward Jesus. The second shift, from output to input challenges the manner in which leadership judges success. Output judgments are attendance, tithing, baptisms, and memberships, while input judgments are actions like reading the Bible, confessing personal sins, praying for others, setting aside time for private worship, sharing Christ with someone, attending smaller gatherings, having regular responsibilities at the church, and being discipled in a one-on-one relationship. From sage to guide involves four principles that moves the focus off of the teacher and onto the student: lower anxiety, start with experience, move beyond your lectern, apply the learning today. The fourth micro-shift, from form to function, addresses four spaces for relationships within the church to form and deepen: public, social, personal, intimate. Lastly, from maturity to missionary defines the end goal which is not smarter saints but missionary disciples.
Section two focuses on the path for implementing the five shifts. The path involves how to introduce change to the church, understanding vision, strategy, and values, and developing an intentional discipleship pathway that produces missionary disciples. Introducing change requires an understanding that every aspect of the church is connected – interwoven – and therefore, change ripples and must be anticipated and managed before implementation. The book presents three steps for introducing change: (1) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats analysis, (2) conversation checklist, (3) ministry area idea audit. With vision, strategy, and values, the three must work as one, flowing together and mixing, while serving their specific function. He warns, “Strategy without vision is ineffective, powerless, inept, and unproductive.” Four types of values characterize everything the church does: core, aspirational, permission-to-play, accidental. A church’s discipleship pathway exists as a network of integrated systems. A major point states, “The goal for a discipleship pathway is never to get someone through it; the goal is to get individuals to own it.”
Analysis/Evaluation of the Book
Daniel Im’s No Silver Bullets presents a strategy for making micro-shifts that any church leadership can successfully make in any church. The book is focused and fulfills its premise. The ideas presented I find practical and authentic. I value the well-written format with a perfect mixture of personal antidotes, referencing to other experts, real-life examples, easy to follow charts and models, and each chapter ending with reflection questions.
My plan was to read one chapter per day but the reading excited me so much that I read three chapters. It’s that good. It’s an important read for any church leader to aid them to evaluate their structures and process and statements, but also, to empower them to make the small shifts to improve their goals without throwing the baby out with the bath water.
From destination to direction
From output to input
From sage to guide
From form to function
From maturity to missionary
The first shift deals with how we understand discipleship. A destination approach thinks of discipleship in terms of the general direction the “disciple” is moving instead of an end destination to be reached.
The second shift pertains to what an individual needs to do to move in the direction of following Jesus. Churches often want disciples to demonstrate knowledge of the bible, fruit of the Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, etc. These are output goals or results. Input goals are those practices that make output goals achievable. Based on Lifeway Research, Im argues that reading the Bible, attending Sunday worship, and participating in smaller groups are three inputs that greatly influence output results.
The third shift addresses the role of the leader in this process. Pastors often feel that they need to be the “sage on the stage,” the person with answers to all discipleship questions. Drawing on adult learning studies, Im advises pastors and church leaders to adopt an approach referred to as being a “guide on the side.” In this approach, the teacher puts the learner in the driving seat, helping them when they get stuck.
In the fourth shift, Im talks about moving from form to function. This is an especially good chapter for churches that are still debating whether Sunday school ,small groups or missional communities are a better discipleship methodology. Im argues that the function of discipling is more important than the form in which it takes places. Having said that, he proposes mid-size communities in the church as a particularly fruitful venue for discipleship.
Finally, Im focuses on the purpose of discipleship. Most churches understand discipleship in terms of spiritual maturity, but Im thinks they ought to understand it in terms of being a missionary.
Throughout No Silver Bullets, Daniel Im brings biblical theology, personal experience, and social science research together on the urgent question of how churches can better make disciples. He has done well to present a balanced view of discipleship that can be contextualized to many settings by implementing these micro-shifts. He ends the book by suggesting ways that change should happen within a church setting as well for those churches that intend to put some of these micro-shifts into practice.
Daniel's book is incredibly helpful. It helped my "general sense" find its proper review and assessment, and practical strategies and tactics that are helping our church address its obstacles and take advantage of its opportunities.
I also appreciated Daniel's approach and writing voice.