Apr 17, 2019

Four kinds of boards: Which do you have?

Church and non-profit boards can be divided into four kinds according to how they operate. Unfortunately only one of these board modalities is consistent with good board work. If you have served on a board or currently serve on one, consider these four ways that boards operate and whether your board is operating in an optimal way. Here are the four kinds of boards:

The controlling board
Members of...
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Sep 27, 2018

When boards don't know the morale of the staff or choose to ignore it

It is not uncommon for me to deal with situations where the board of a church or non-profit (it happens in the for profit world as well) seem to be ignorant of the moral of the staff in the organization. In many cases I have been called in as a consultant because of low staff morale. When I report to the board my findings either the reaction is one of surprise or embarrassment. Surprise when they...
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Aug 31, 2018

Policy governance in the church: An Overview

Policy governance, popularized by John Carver is getting increasing attention as a governance method in the church. I have helped many non-profits and larger churches move to a policy governance model. In this blog I will give an overview of policy governance and in subsequent blogs I will lay out the advantages and disadvantages of this governance approach when applied to the local church.

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Jun 26, 2018

Help your board do self-evaluation of their work with seven evaluative statements

Church boards (and other boards) often forget what good governance looks like. Not because they don't care but because in the press of ministry life they forget. 

A simple way to evaluate your board work is to have everyone on the board assign a number from 1 to 10 for each of the statements below. Ten signifies we do this well and consistently and one signifies we do it poorly or inconsistently....
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Jun 20, 2018

Seven personal behaviors for the best board work

We give each other grace

Boards debate ideas and options and must deal with difficult decisions. Without grace toward one another and each other's viewpoints, conflict can create animosity and relational issues. Grace allows us to wade in and speak truthfully in a context of peace.

We speak the truth as we understand it

Unless we share what is actually on our minds, issues cannot be properly...
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Jun 06, 2018

Why boards need to change as an organization grows

Boards, especially in the non-profit world are not static entities. Unless they grow along with the growth of the non-profit they represent they will eventually stall out the effectiveness of that organization.

Consider, for instance five identifiable kinds of non-profit boards.

1. The Board of Friends and Relatives. Organizations start with the vision of an entrepreneur who has a vision to change...
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Aug 09, 2016

Five simple principles for governance in churches and non-profits

Governance systems in churches and non-profits are often antiquated, discouraging and massively complicated. The result is that it is hard to make decisions, know who is responsible, ensure results and create accountability. The result is that the return on mission is significantly compromised.

There are five simple principles that should apply to any governance system. You can also measure your...
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