Jim Bahbah had been praying for several years about leaving the business world “while still young enough to have fruitful years to devote to ministry work.” A family decision during the Great Recession of 2008 started him on that road, eventually leading him to help oversee the day-to-day operations of Life Remodeled.
After 25 years as a sales and marketing executive with MCI and later Verizon, Jim left the corporate world and went into the ministry as the executive pastor of ministries at Oak Pointe Church in Novi. He also oversaw the OPC church planting, the Milford campus and strategic partnerships which in 2010 led him to Chris Lambert, whose vision for what would become Life Remodeled was just coming into view.
Around the same time, hundreds of churches around Metro Detroit embarked on the 40-day E.A.C.H. (Everyone a Chance to Hear) campaign of good deeds and good news. “We thought Life Remodeled and the ideas that Chris had were good to promote within E.A.C.H.”
Fast forward eight years to 2016. Jim transitioned from Executive Pastor to Oak Pointe’s Pastor of Strategic Partnerships, allowing him to become more involved as the chief operating officer of Life Remodeled, where he had served as a board member from the beginning.
“I play the organizer role to Chris, who is the visionary,” Jim said. “I help with the day-to-day operations of Life Remodeled so he can focus on vision and donations.”
After several months in 2016 “learning the moving parts” of the expanding mission, Jim applied his nearly three decades of business experience in the form of checklists, spreadsheets and timelines to find the best approach to structure and organize Life Remodeled.
As Life Remodeled has grown to six full-time positions, Jim has helped to put together a talented staff and recruit high-caliber volunteers newly retired from the corporate world.
“It has allowed us to do something like we are doing with Durfee,” transforming the elementary-middle school into a Community Innovation Center, focusing on education and entrepreneurship.
“What is inspiring to me about Life Remodeled is the impact that is made. That is what has motivated me all these years, transformation in people’s lives, transformation in neighborhoods and transformation of the city.”