Callahan, Building for Effective Mission


Kennon Callahan, Building for Effective Mission: A Complete Guide for Congregations on Bricks and Mortar Issues. Jossey-Bass, 1997. Summary

Kennon Callahan’s resources on church leadership are among the most widely used worldwide (see his page on This volume is part of his Twelve Keys library, and one may wish to be familiar with at least the first volume, Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, to understand his approach. However, he reviews the Twelve Keys in the opening chapter, enough that this book has good stand-alone value. Callahan follows his standard foundation for churches to prayerfully and biblically discern their mission, and then either renovate, build, or move to best suit their missional goals. There are few resources that are as helpful or inspirational in fitting facilities with mission. This mission orientation is the common vein in all of Callahan’s works. Whether a church uses this as its primary resource in a building project or not, the leaders would benefit from exposure to these insights. To learn more about Callahan’s Twelve Keys approach see this site’s Callahan summary or visit the Amazon Callahan page.

From the Publisher

Guides church leaders through the process of clarifying and prioritizing their mission. Kennon Callahan demonstrates how to cultivate your mission with compassion and community, as well as prayer and scripture. This guide will make any congregation’s mission become a reality by matching your church’s facilities with its ministry needs.

From the Inside Flap

“This book will help you to see all you do in mission in a new light. It will help you put your priorities into better order. It will help you maximize the effectiveness of your resources for this mission time. And it will guide you through the many decisions and choices about your space and facilities as you keep the perspective of your mission foremost.” - Kennon Callahan, Building for Effective Mission

How can congregations clarify and advance their mission in the twenty-first century? And how can they maximize their resources as they reach out and serve the community? In this important addition to the Twelve Keys to an Effective Church library, Kennon Callahan guides church leaders through the process of defining and prioritizing their mission. The book begins by showing the need to develop a focused plan, build on strengths, and concentrate on specific resources available. Some congregations fail by trying to do too much. Callahan emphasizes the need to be realistic, make choices, and do what can be done best. He then presents the ‘bricks and mortar’ tools needed to build and grow the mission, focusing on issues such as evaluating the range of resources available, choosing the right location, doing a church site evaluation, making sure space and facilities meet the needs of the mission, and more. Callahan also addresses key issues that will ensure long life for a church’s mission, such as community outreach, leadership development, and growing funds through giving. Throughout this step-by-step process, he helps congregations understand that the building is not the mission but only one of the means through which mission is carried out.

To be a successful church in the twenty-first century, a congregation outlines clear mission goals and then renovates, builds, or moves in order to bring these ministries to life. This is a guide to making any congregation’s mission become reality and to matching its church’s facilities with its mission needs.

About the Author

KENNON L. CALLAHAN - researcher, professor, and pastor - is one of today’s most sought-after church consultants. He has worked with thousands of congregations around the world and has helped tens of thousands of church leaders and pastors through his dynamic workshops and seminars. Author of many books, he is best known for his groundbreaking study Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, which has formed the basis for the Mission Growth Movement, a widely acclaimed program for church renewal. Callahan has earned the B.A., M.Div., S.T.M., and Ph.D. degrees. His doctorate is in Systematic Theology. He has served both rural and urban congregations in Ohio, Texas, and Georgia and taught for many years at Emory University.

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