April 2019 Resource

4D IMPACT: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church
4D IMPACT: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church
Olu Brown
Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN
Book Review By:
Melvin Amerson

Premise of the Book:
Congregations willing and open to embracing intentional, innovative and creative approaches to ministry can grow and be relevant in a time where many churches are facing declines in worship attendance and growth.

What the Book Does:
4D IMPACT is an excellent resource that guides clergy and laity through the experiences of the author and pastor Olu Brown, who founded Impact Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which has a growing, vibrant ministry with members from millennials to seasoned adults. He shares the trials, failures and successes in the life of his congregation. Brown walks ministry leaders through what he calls four mission-critical aspects of twenty-first-century ministry and church vitality: culture, hospitality, worship and technology. Moreover, he describes each of the four key elements in concrete actions for ministry leaders to discuss and implement. Each chapter concludes with brief reflections to help readers rethink and regenerate.


Introduction: Smashing Barriers
Chapter 1: Your Church’s 4D New Normal
Chapter 2: Technology
Chapter 3: Hospitality
Chapter 4: Worship
Chapter 5: Systems
Conclusion: Achieving Your Church’s 4D New Model

What are the Important Insights:

Throughout this resource, the author makes candid statements that are insightful, realistic, and empowering. One of the most powerful and uplifting statements Brown makes in this resource reads, “I realized my role, as one of the leaders of the faith community, is to make sure I empower those who have the ability, time, and expertise with the freedom and resources to do what they do naturally and professionally, and it has made all the difference.”(p.25) He also states, “Hospitality is a heart issue.” (p.34) Hospitality is a central element to church growth and sustainability. All four components are key to vibrant growth and sustained relevance.

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
4D IMPACT is a must read for congregations, clergy and laity who want to be relevant in a rapidly changing mission field.

Melvin Amerson Area Representative

Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist/Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Melvin is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership and visioning. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.