Mar 24, 2023

Ten Dysfunctions of Church Governance Boards


I want to say this gently but straightforwardly! There is a crisis of leadership in the church as it relates to who we put in leadership, whether we call them councils, boards, elders, deacons, or simply the leadership boards. This crisis is responsible for many of the dysfunctions in local churches. Leadership at this level matters a lot. 

Having served for years as a pastor, board member, or...

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Feb 20, 2023

The frustration many experience in serving on a church board - and how to solve it


Straight up, let me say that I believe in a plurality of leadership for the church. It is how God designed it, and when it functions well, it is a beautiful thing. However, having been a pastor, church leader, board member, and consultant to church boards for over 30 years, I know they can be deeply frustrating. Most of that frustration is self-imposed in that we don't pay attention to some...

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Sep 29, 2022

Best Practice Board Behaviors

 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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Oct 05, 2021

Eight issues that can be confusing for church boards

 Church board leadership is always a challenge. And, often boards or individual members are confused on the role of the board. If these areas of confusion can be resolved, the work of the board becomes far easier. Here are eight issues that often cause confusion on a board.

1. What are we actually trying to accomplish?
This sounds like a simple question but the truth is that a majority of church...
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Apr 12, 2021

If you want to know the health or dishealth of your church board, pay attention to the quality of relationships


One of the key indicators of a board health the quality of relationships between board members. As you read this list of poor interpersonal relationships, ask yourself if any of them apply to your church board. If yes, it is imperative that you find a way to resolve the issues because these never just stay on the board but spill out onto the congregation as a whole. Ask me, I have worked with...

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Feb 08, 2021

15 things a church board should not do


In my years of working with church boards and teaching best practices, I have discovered a number of things that boards should not do. If you lead or serve on a church board, ask yourself if you are doing any of the following.

Church boards should not:

  1. Manage staff beyond the senior leader. All staff should report to the senior leader and the board's responsibility is the senior leader only.
  2. Require...
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Jul 01, 2020

Signs that a church board needs renovation

I am always surprised when Church boards deny that they need help when all the signs point to the obvious. Here are some symptoms of board dysfunction that should get our attention. They are not yellow flags but red flags that the board is sick and needs help. I have encountered boards that were literally on life support but did not know it or acknowledge it. 

  • Board members dread board meetings
  • Meet...
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