Direct Hit – Part 4

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.

Can We Get Some Help Here?

Many churches want the “results of change but are unwilling to do what it takes to get the results.”

“The consumer expects to have expectations met; if they are not met, the consumer will either go somewhere else or will stop shopping.”

Many people view the church as a weekly refuge from the world rather than as a “mission outpost designed to reach lost people.”

“The best medicine for those facing hurt is to become involved in effective ministry… hurt is often healed when we are no longer focusing on our own pain but on the needs of others.”

“Many competent pastors live under condemnation because of the incompetent pastors who came before them.” Others cannot lead systemic change because God has not given them the gifts to do so.

Churches need consultation, “it is more a matter of helping the leaders become better at what they are doing, and, in some cases, helping them find more leaders or staff who will compliment those already there.”

“An intervention is different from a consultation in that an interventionist knows that from the start that the job is to lead systemic change, helping to set aside the current system and replace it with one that is mission and vision driven. It often means devising strategies to remove the currect congregational bosses.”

There is a “line in the sand” weekend, then a year-long relationship with an outsider, to gain insights into the congregation’s five biggest strengths, five weaknesses and five prescriptions that require implementation.

“If we determine that [the pastor or staff] is the primary reason that the congregation is not growing, I ask whether the pastor is willing to resign… if the pastor is not willing to risk, then the congregation cannot be asked to risk.” Many will likely need to resign since it is under their watch the congregation has declined.

“Most unhealthy congregations are in a cycle of decline because of incompetent and/or untrained pastors and laity who want to control the congregation out of their need for significance rather than to focus outward… These pastors often build their empire under the guise of deep spirituality.” Abusive pastors cannot handle turning over control to the people.

It’s Time to Really Move

It is time to look at everything the congregation has in print, to focus on the message, vision and purpose of the congregation. There needs to be a ministry audit, to eliminate anything that does not live up to the mission and vision of the congregation. There is also a need to establish new leadership.

“Structure never changes first. If the primary focus is on structure, all changes will be like lightning rods that attract chaos from those wanting to stop change.” Therefore the congregation must implement a new vision and new mission… congregational structures reflect how the three basic values (power, turf and money) are handled.”

People need to “step down from their positions if they do not meet their goals on a consistent basis.” All staff members must accept three goals…

  1. the number of new disciples brought to Jesus under their ministry,
  2. the number of new people that each staff member will train to be involved in his or her ministry this year,
  3. specific numbers or percentages by which that staff member’s ministry will grow during the year.

The pastor’s new role centers on leadership rather than chaplaincy, caring for the congregation. He is seen as the spiritual leader, but “moves toward being the leader of a well-organized organism called the congregation.” He is the “keeper of the mission and caster of the vision.” He is to create a new urgency for the mission.  He is also the developer of new leaders, who turns much of the ministry over to the laity. The pastor becomes “an expert on media and the use of media in sermons.” Methods and content of preaching must change when moving from pastor as chaplain to pastor as leader.


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