CNLP 186: Daniel Im on What’s Wrong with Discipleship, False Maturity and Bi-Vocational Ministry

Something’s wrong with discipleship in most churches, but many leaders have no idea what’s broken, despite their best efforts to diagnose and fix it. Daniel Im gives a helpful diagnosis and a very practical set of tips on how to move your church closer to Christ. Plus, he shares some bonus tips for bi-vocational pastors – a much requested conversation.

Welcome to Episode 186 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Daniel on Facebook | InstagramTwitter | LinkedIn | | Daniel’s Books

5 Leadership Questions Podcast

CCLP 003: Daniel Im-Surprising Factors that Make Canadian Churches Grow

Links Mentioned

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Time is the biggest challenge in bi-vocational ministry

The biggest challenge for most people involved in bi-vocational ministry is time. Specifically, doing full-time work in half the time.

The key to making this work well is to find a job that requires little physical and emotional effort from you – this is not the time start your own company.  A job that doesn’t come home with you when it’s time to clock out is ideal. Bonus points if it offers you the space to pray, have conversations with a diverse group of people and prep for sermons or whatever your role is in ministry.

2. Daniel’s model for discerning your church’s discipleship style

3. Being a copy cat will eventually catch up to you 

Our virtual world makes copying awesome or unique ideas simpler than ever before. All integrity is lost in plagiarism and there is so much danger in it, especially for the church.

Beyond the fact that it’s wrong, there’s a big possibility that the copy cat method is going to catch up with you over time. What works for one church won’t necessarily work for all. After months or years of taking what’s not yours, you’ll end up with content that doesn’t speak to the heart of the majority of your people, because it wasn’t made specifically with their needs in mind.  

When you come across an incredible idea or method that could help your ministry or office, don’t just run with it and champion it for yourself. Share and process what you’ve found with your team and find the best way to make it your own, even offering thanks or props to the source where you found it is the best practice. Most are willing to share, but give them the chance to give you the gift.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Tim Elmore  

Almost every leader under 40 feels it – the constant stress, anxiety and uncertainty we’re all plagued by. Dr. Tim Elmore is a world-renowned expert on the issues facing today’s students and young adults. We dive into why so many young adults feel constant anxiety and uncertainty and how to deal with it, with strategies for young adults themselves and every leader who leads them.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 187.

CNLP 186: Daniel Im on What’s Wrong with Discipleship, False Maturity and Bi-Vocational Ministry


  1. Ian Ardill on April 10, 2018 at 5:08 am

    I am currently Bi-Vocational by choice. I disagree on the head space comments today. I am the lead pastor. We have 6 staff part-time, 200 + attendance in Aurora ON, Canada. I also own and lead a business that captures a large portion of my head realistate. I believe the two feed each other in terms of God wiring on my. Each fans my entrepreneurial spirit.

  2. Dan Smith on April 5, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    I appreciate the podcast with Daniel and what he had to say but one part of it struck me the wrong way. I’ve had problems with being legalistic in a big part of my walk and putting that on others. I’ve rebelled against it and have found freedom in serving later on. Maybe I misunderstood but at one part of the interview he quoted that we are imposters if we are not witnessing to others. Maybe the statement needs to be more well defined for me but people who are susceptible, trying to gain acceptance from God could get caught up in this. I don’t think you can put hard and fast rules on a persons maturity. In my opinion spiritual maturity should be based on how you love not on any kind of performance. Mission comes out of love. Handing out tracts doesn’t mean you are spiritually mature. Take a look at John 13:34,35. Love one another is mentioned three times in 2 verses. Spiritual maturity is defined by love. And just like maturing in age, learning to love also takes a measure of time. Like the disciples It didn’t happen overnight.

  3. Samuel Boje on April 4, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Interested to learn more about church growth and leadership qualities.

  4. Birger on April 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    As it “happens” this weeks study of Psalms 51; verse 13 points out a high coefficient of correlation to Daniel’s regression analysis on confession increasing personal evangelism

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