Time and again, Paul Borden has been so helpful in North Alabama in offering his insights on pastoral leadership and congregational change. Recently, Paul and I contributed chapters to a book on leadership that is edited by Hugh Ballou (who served a church in North Alabama a few years ago). I offer some of Paul’s insights that I found to be challenging and helpful:
- Congregations that have been on a plateau or in decline for more than three years require intervention to produce any significant change. Without intervention these congregations will continue to be disobedient to God’s Great Commission for the Church
- Leadership is essential. The pastor must be a leader or have the ability to exercise leadership behavior. However, most pastors cannot lead such change alone. Pastors need help from the outside. A key and fundamental role for denomination personnel is to stand with leader pastors and risk the loss of congregational dollars and affirmation.
- Pastors and denominations that do not want to disrupt comfortable congregations must understand they are abdicating their responsibilities as Christian leaders to serve God well. Enabling and helping congregations to continually exercise sinful dysfunctional behavior means that such pastors and denominational leaders are practicing carnal co-dependent realtionships that work against God’s mission for the Church.
- The ultimate issues in congregations that fight and resist change relates ultimately to people wanting to hold and control the power (to influence the congregations), money, and turf.
- Leading congregational transformation is much more difficult than starting new congregations. However, the investment is worth it when one sees expensive facilities sitting on valuable properties being used to achieve grand missions that produce changed lives and communities.
— From Transforming Power – Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration, Compiled and Edited by Hugh Ballou, Discipleship Resources, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003