Main Idea of the Text:
The book is dealing with becoming a leader within the congregation that is able to transition a congregation from unhealthy decline to a vibrant new vision for God’s Kingdom.
The Three Top Ideas of Greatest Benefit:
- The best idea of the book was the development of the three teams. There was the prayer team, the vision team, and the implementation team. For a minister to build enough support to push a dying congregation into a new vision, he must build alliances within the congregation that will support the change initiative. Without the proper support, the change will never happen because the minister will be removed or move on before system change is able to take place.
- The second best idea was the information concerning creating and communicating urgency. Most congregations are content with dysfunction. There is a weak desire for growth or development, but mostly this is just talk. Most congregations do not feel that they are broken or ineffective in performing ministry. Also, a lot of preachers and leaders refuse to address the serious issues in a congregation because of the desire to be positive about the congregation. In fact, the congregation will typically tune out a member that seems to critical of a congregation. Congregations prefer to be naïve than to face reality. The “elephant detective” is marginalized in congregations, so the minister must be careful about how he addresses the urgency issues.
- The third best idea is the qualities of a true leader. The characteristics of a true leader are: passion, courage, flexibility, missional, wisdom, positive, and responsible. The greatest of these is the foundation of courage. For a minister to lead a change, he must be strong in his faith and in his skin. He will receive a tremendous amount of resistance and negativity directed towards him. If he is not courageous he will continue to keep the peace as the congregation dies.
The Three Ideas of Major disagreement:
1. The idea of the preacher being the leading fundraiser seems to create a negative perception of the minister. If the minister pushes people too much on the funding elements, but will provide even more resistance to the change process because of the accusation of the preacher wanting a larger salary.
2. The idea of waiting for five years before going through the process is too long. The preacher does not want to make radical changes in the beginning, but in the first year he needs to prove that he is compatible of leading some changes within the congregation.
3. This is not so much a disagreement, but different reality within the churches of Christ. In churches of Christ, the preacher has little if any positional authority, unlike a pastor system in some other religious groups. Some of the material would not translate over well.
The Recommendation of the Book:
This book should be recommended because of the understandable process given in facilitating a change initiative within a congregation.
- Review “Review of “Effectiveness by Numbers”
- Review of “Winning on Purpose”
- Review of “Leading Congregational Change”
- Review of “Managing Transitions”
- Review of “Making Shifts Without Making Waves”