Direct Hit: aiming real leaders at the mission field (Abingdon Press, 2006) is a very hard hitting book as Paul Borden explains how to bring significant change to churches which are not growing and therefore not fulfilling God’s purposes. He sees the church as God’s primary tool for making individual disciples and for changing entire communities. He uses some surprising analogies to make his point. One is of the dysfunctional church being like an alcoholic. Another is using the battles in the Old Testament as a picture of the sort of struggles that happen when a pastor tries to bring new life to a dying congregation.

Borden explains in some detail (particularly in the appendixes) the process he takes a church through in order to bring it into health. He asks whether the pastor is willing to resign. He asks board members if they want to hold onto their positions and watch their congregation die. He explains these questions are necessary because it has generally been under their watch that the congregation has declined.

While the book’s primary audience is pastors it provides startling insights into the difficulties faced by pastors and church leaders who want their churches to grow.