There are certain practices which reflect a healthy church board. If you are on a board, I would encourage you to measure your board against these practices.

1. Define clearly how the board operates through a board covenant or policy governance. You can only hold people accountable to what they have agreed to. Define your rules of engagement and then hold every board member accountable for those healthy practices.

2. Deal only with the big rocks of ministry and delegate to staff or others the small rocks and pebbles. You should be able to do your normal board work in two hours per month, leaving a second two hour meeting for discussion, prayer, learning and dialogue.

3. Never ignore spiritual issues in the church including gossip, critical spirits, division, ongoing egregious sin or heresy. Hoping they will go away will not make them go away.

4. Always keep the main thing the main thing: evangelism and disciplemaking. Churches don't drift into missionality, they drift into diffusion of purpose and unsafe waters. 

5. Have a well defined mission, set of guiding principles and the culture you want to build. Lack of clarity around what is important will keep you from being missional. 

6. Guard the gate of the board. Choose board members with great care. Every board is one board member away from disunity and one board away from church trouble and decline.

7. Do the work of elders together: pray, study God's purposes for the church, pray for your congregation. Don't allow administration and business to crowd out the most important.

8. Do honest evaluation against the clarity you have defined. Don't allow "church nice" to keep you from honest discussion regarding your effectiveness.

9. Focus on the Gospel and not on programs. Every church board should study the implications of the gospel for believers and congregations. It is very easy to focus on numbers and programs rather than the transformation of lives, communities and institutions that the gospel brings.

10. Ensure that you are developing robust followers of Jesus, not simply "nice churchgoing Christians." That starts with board members as congregations are unlikely to rise above the spiritual commitments of its leaders.

11. Love and care for your congregation like Jesus does. You are undershepherds of the Good Shepherd. The gospel is about people and churches are about people.

12. Release people into active ministry to use their gifts in the marketplace, the neighborhood, among the poor and disadvantaged and in the church. Make that an expectation, not optional.
  • Jun 27, 2011
  • Category: News
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