Laurie KennedyJeffery A. Sonnenfeld (Leadership Weekly) researches the meltdowns of major corporations. He found two components shared by failing corporations that are relevant to churches. Church Boards need to develop (1) “a climate of trust and candor and (2) a culture of open dissent.”  Further, he writes, “respect and trust do not imply endless affability or absence of disagreement, rather they imply bonds among board members that are strong enough to withstand clashing viewpoints.”

The most impressive and competent Board I ever worked with evaluated their personal and corporate performance at every Board meeting.  They defined a list of personal and organizational factors they felt would be ideal for their Board to achieve.  Here is a very brief list of competencies every Board member needs to remember and implement.

  • The further a Board gets into staff details, the less effective the Board becomes
  • Board members represent the church, not their own interests.
  • Boards must have their hands on the steering wheel, not the rear view mirror.
  • Board meetings are a ministry
  • Board meetings are high involvement, continual learning and results focused.
  • Boards must be healthy, viable, and resilient and Vision focused
  • The Board goal is, how will your church look different next year
  • Board evaluation is an opportunity for improvement.
  • Boards are excited about the church
  • Board members feel called to their role and mission
  • Boards celebrate the accomplishments of God in His church
  • Boards look to the future seeing the big picture

The author of Hebrews (13:17 NIV) instructs us to obey our leaders (Boards) “so that their work will be a joy, not a burden”.  As your Board members enjoy what they do, the positive work will flow throughout the whole church.  Or, as illustrated by Bruce Clemenger, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, “Freeing our board members to be outward looking rather than reactive has allowed our organization to be dynamic,” (Faith Today)

Leadership is growing your Board members individually and collectively to accomplish God’s plan.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group