Twelve Keys to an Effective Church has been a useful tool for me since graduating seminary. I have read this book several times and have found its instruction in “how to” information to be a great tool in the ministry of the church. What I have found to be most helpful in Dr. Callahan’s book is the way he lays out the priorities of church development.
The need for every congregation to have “specific (particular human hurts or hopes), concrete (delivery of effective help), missional (focusing on both individual and institutional hurts and hopes) objectives (clear intentional goals)” is a statement that has given me guidance in my ministry development. In the past I have found myself involved in “programs and ministry” that did not have directive or an overriding purpose. Dr. Callahan’s strategy in mapping out church ministry is “hands on” practical.
In Twelve Keys Callhan reminds the church that we serve a “risen Lord”. The building upon the “strengths” of a given congregation is one of the strong themes. The statement “mission leads us beyond ourselves” is an overriding theme throughout this book.
The guidance Callahan gives in how to relate to those we are trying to reach has useful advice. One statement that has stayed with me is found in his chapter on Pastoral and Lay Visitation. “It is important to realize that the purpose of these visits with unchurched families is not to get them into the church.” He goes on to describe them as “mission visits”.