I’ve been slowly working my way through Paul Borden’s excellent book, Make or Break Your Church in 365 Days: A Daily Guide to Leading Effective Change. [affiliate link]

The added responsibilities of taking on an interim ministry – something I had not planned for 2013 – have forced me to slow down on some of my other projects, including the stack of books in my “must read or you won’t be a good pastor” pile. But this book is so useful for intentional interim pastors and pastors in turnaround situations that I want to share just a few highlights:

Most pastors are not natural-born leaders. They lack either the gift or the talent of leadership. Pastors are like most people since the majority of the population lacks the gift or the talent for leadership. Pastors, however, whether they desire it or not, are in a position of leadership.

People follow those whom they believe to be highly credible, and competency is key to being perceived as credible.

The more credible (read: competent) the leader, the more followers trust the leader, and they demonstrate this trust by their willingness to follow.

Of all the professions, pastors are probably least trained to be competent for the tasks of leadership for which they are responsible. This is not their fault, since seminaries or Bible colleges are not doing it (and let me say, seminaries can’t do it or be expected to do it). However, it is the pastors’ problem.

The purpose of this book is to help pastors become more competent at their tasks of leading congregations, day in and day out. I answer two questions. First, what must be done in the first 365 days of tenure to eventually lead the congregation through systemic transformation? Second, what should be done each day of the week to accomplish necessary tasks during the first year as the pastor, and in all the following years, in order to stimulate systemic transformation?

Pastors should know their goals for the first year of ministry (particularly in congregations on a plateau or in decline).

Nationally the church of Jesus Christ appears to be losing in its ability to positively impact the culture and see statistically significant, regenerative growth. I believe this phenomenon is a result of a belief about the very nature and purpose of the church of Jesus Christ.

However, is the church fundamentally designed to be a place for saints to worship, grow, develop, and be prepared to carry out God’s mission, or is the church by its very nature a missional entity that does worship, discipleship, and other activities in missional ways, designed more for what it achieves as an entity in the accomplishment of the mission, both corporately and individually?

Your mouth isn’t watering, it’s crying for you to get a copy of this book.

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