Perhaps you have read books like Forming Intentional Disciples, Divine Renovation, Unlocking your Parish, Developing Disciples of Christ, and you are wondering, "do we really need another book about mission, renewing parish culture, and making disciples?"
After reading Made for Mission: Renewing Your Parish Culture by Tim Glemkowski, I would say: YES. There is no silver bullet to renewing our parishes and making disciples and sometimes we need to hear slightly different versions of how to form disciples, create leadership teams, and move our parishes from "the way we have always done things" to becoming vibrant centers that can transform our own people and the culture around us for follow Christ.
Each of these books about the discipleship, mission, renewing parishes, parish leadership has pieces of the puzzle. Some things will work in your parish and your parish culture and some wont. Some parishes are able to fully go into Divine Renovation mode, and for some it just won't fit the culture.
What I loved about Made for Mission is that after going through a basic review of the problem with some all-to-familiar statistics, the crucial role of the parish in that we have the parishes, the church planting is done! So let's use them, and the fact that we are in a post-Christian society, Tim Glemkoski gives us four simple keys or drivers for parish renewal.
1) a clear vision.
2) a clear path to discipleship.
3) well formed leaders.
4) nothing in maintenance mode - everything is aligned to the mission.
But before we can implement these keys, we need to see where we are as a parish. Is our parish dying, is it declining, is it swelling because of mergers or other situations or is it thriving. We need to know where are are before we can map out a path to where we want to be.
With some exceptions, we are failing to form disciples who can form other disciples. In our current secular culture, the only way to survive is to be on mission and go and make disciples who can change and convert hearts, starting with those in our pews and then moving outward.
The book walks us through each of the four keys: how to cast the vision and communicate it so that everyone is on the same page. How to create a clear path to discipleship so anyone will know how to move from pre-evangelization, through evangelization, to discipleship and then to apostolate: to become disciples who can be sent to make more disciples. How to form and mobilize leaders and to align everything to the mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ.
I would highly recommend that pastors read this book with their leadership team (and if they do not have a leadership team, to read the book and build one.) Clergy cannot do everything by themselves, but the pastor of a parish is vitally important. The vision must be driven by the pastor and his leadership team. People look to the pastor for leadership and the pastor is crucial in the process. As Tim Glemkoski explained it, and as I have experienced it in various efforts in my years in ministry, if the vision is not driven by the pastor, it will be seen as a fringe effort and it will eventually fall apart.
Read the book, cast the vision, create a strategy and implement tactics to renew the parish culture. It will take time - think years, not weeks. This book is a great resource. It is not a silver bullet, but it does contain gems of ideas that may inspire and light the way to create parishes that are made for mission.