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.
I See a Better Tomorrow
“Vision is derived from the passion of a leader who has a prophetic burning within the soul to accomplish something significant for God.”
“The biblical mission of mission of the church is 180 degrees opposite to the mission or purpose of most congregations [in affluent countries].”
In the development of vision: the first time period is from one to five years prior to systemic change (preparation). There is a lot of prayer at this point. The second phase works within one year, but no more than two. This involves seeing the community for what it really is, a complex social unit (discovering the values, interests, desires and aspirations of the community.
The “pastor creates a preaching calendar for the vision… how he will communicate the vision over the next one to five years.” It is cast by telling compelling stories and metaphors.
“The pastor is also looking for those within the congregation who are responding to the sermons, training, and comments on vision.”
Going along with the status quo creates job security but demands few if any risks.
When is Somebody Going to do Something?
“Vision is God’s major tool to provide hope for people.”
“New visions require risk, which entails leaving that which is known and comfortable for that which is unknown.”
Presentation of the vision must “always be accompanied with a presentation of urgency for that vision. Without the constant presentation of urgency, people vote with their behavior for the status quo. A good leader must make the status quo so unacceptable that people are willing to embrace a new vision.” Or people will not change.
Theological urgency: people are lost and on their way to hell. There is a spiritual need to act. Many times we talk about urgency but our behavior does not demonstrate any urgency.
Clergy and lay leaders must “lead the congregation to confess the sin of complacency (no urgency).” We simply do not believe that the majority of people around us are lost.
Practical urgency: people must see where they are headed if they refuse to change. Help the congregation to see the community in which the congregation exists for what it really is. Help the congregation to feel the loss of people because they have left; therefore they are no longer a healthy, vibrant and growing congregation. We must also describe what is happening to the culture of our nation (morality of the congregation is not much different from those outside the congregation).
“If one creates urgency from a prophetic perspective so that everyone feels guilty about all that could be happening but is not, there will be no change. Prophets create guilt, and guilt is designed to produce repentance, which is a type of change.“ Change in congregation may start with repentance, but must be led by leaders and not prophets. “Shame and blame do produce change.” But this must be paired with casting vision.
The pastor must constantly preach on themes that talk about why it is important to be a disciple of Christ, the need to be reconciled and the need for forgiveness. He uses charts and graphs to see what has happened to the declining congregation. Use interviews of people in the community who deal with the issues around the congregation. Use interviews of non-church people who see the church as irrelevant or boring.