I’ve just finished the Paul D. Borden book, Direct Hit, and wanted to share many of the quotes from the book. The staff at King’s Grant is reading this together, and our pastor is currently involved with the Great Commission Breakthrough Cluster, and group of local pastors that are a part of this church growth strategy sponsored by the Norfolk Area Baptist Association.
It’s More Than Just Talk
“We usually expect that for one to lead well in a congregation, he or she must have the ability to communicate reasonably well in some form so that people are motivated to follow.”
Churches need to have a communication strategy that includes “before or after the formal presentation to make comments to the audience.” The pastor takes every advantage to communicate the mission and vision of the organization.
Pastors of the church “develop relationships, model discipleship and train leaders who may be open to following when change is being implemented.”
“Good leaders are constantly raising up new leaders.”
“The ability for any organization to effectively accomplish it’s purpose is ultimately determined by leaders who are effective because they communicate well.”
“Few pastors are willing to assume the role of a leader who takes responsibility for mobilizing the congregation to accept the mission of obeying our Lord’s Great Commission: to make disciples for Jesus. Instead, many pastors and other church staff presume that their job is to call individuals to personal discipleship.”
The church is often an “environment where faithful endeavor is honored, but fruitful results are not expected or demanded… The church shies away from accountability perhaps better than any other organization in the world.”
When people gain positions of leadership by default, that “leadership deteriorates to one of conserving the status quo.” They fear losing people, and have a theology that the church is for them, rather than for those who are not yet a part of the congregation. Change, and an influx of new people, would mean “a loss of control” and therefore a decline in personal status.
“Change always starts with mission and vision. No new mission or vision will take hold and last over time if the structure is not changed to allow both to flourish.”
“Congregations are created by God to be God’s primary tool for making individual disciples and for changing entire congregations.” The pastor’s leadership is directed “more to the congregation as an entity than it is to the individuals who comprise the congregation.”
“Your purpose as a church leader is to lead a congregation to find those strategies and tactics that will enable followers to effectively reach lost and dying people with the good news.”
Will the Real Leaders Please Stand Up?
Many times leaders will speak “against [other] leaders complaining about issues of power and authority. In effect, we have now developed a theology of smallness.”
“According to Leith Anderson, leadership involves a person seeing a need and taking the responsibility to see that the need is met.” The leader then influences and mobilized others.”
“Leadership refers to the employment of disciplines that people can develop regardless of their talents or mix of spiritual gifts.” There is an art and a science to leadership.
“At the heart of all effective leadership is passion,” which “begins with a prophetic burden” and “arises when we are focused on God and are able to see the needs that people have because of the great chasm between them and God.”
“We can tell if people are truly called by whether they possess a passion for God and for reaching the lost… passion comes as we, in our own ways, take God seriously.”
“A leader’s first task is to be clear about the mission. A leader must then ask if this mission is one that God wants him or her to lead and if it is worth dying for.”
“Primary customers [of the church] are ones who are not yet part of the congregation [basically lost people]… secondary customers are the disciples who are already involved in the congregation. Secondary customers are developed to reproduce more primary customers.”
We must have “movement from an inward focus to an outward focus” which “demands a major shift in who controls the organization”… it takes “courageous leaders who are willing to risk all for the sake of the Great Commission.”
“In today’s culture, “people vote with their feet and their pocketbook”… “Congregations going through major changes find that there are often more people leaving than new people coming.” It may even cost a few long-time relationships. The Great Commission must be obeyed above personal interests.
“What worked yesterday in one congregation produces little change today… More congregations die than are started each week in North America… If leaders cannot handle flexibility, they will find it difficult to let go of old behaviors and lead new initiatives, and long-term systemic change will probably not occur.”
“The very nature and essence of the church is to be involved in a passionate, missional effort of turning lost people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.”
“Most of [the church’s] ministries are designed to provide service and fulfillment to those who are already related to [Christ]… The most effective pastors are missionaries at heart.”
“Missional leaders are open to accountability” because effectiveness is measured by loses and new recruits into the kingdom.
“Followers are motivated when leaders proclaim a clear vision, which is the answer to a great urgency.”
“The church in North America has lost is primary sense of mission. We spend far too much time and money engaging disciples in tasks and responsibilities that do not advance the mission.”
Regarding wisdom, “[leaders] never ask more of their sheep than they are willing to do as leaders.”
“Positive leaders are constantly showing disciples what God can do and wants to do… they cast vision and assume the best.”
Good leaders take responsibility for what happens. Most excuses for lack of growth are:
- Environmental – our location, neighborhood, resort area, transitional community – this is a missionary issue, people don’t see the harvest before them.
- Lack of commitment – if my people were more committed, serve more, give more – this is a vision issue, people have not caught the vision.
- Spiritual – God has left, or is judging our city or church – this is an issue of denial, saying God has written off our area.