If you sit on a ministry board that is divided and in conflict, you need to know that the division is highly likely to negatively impact the organization you oversee. Divided boards are a clear warning that danger is imminent for the ministry as a whole and it is therefore imperative that the board do whatever it needs to do - including disciplining and humbling itself to resolve the issues.

There are a number of ways that boards become divided. How it become divided is not the relevant issue here. That the board is able to get on one page is! Not to do so is to place the ministry in jeopardy which violates the board's responsibility to protect and ensure that the ministry flourishes. 

Let me suggest that divided boards must grapple with a number of key issues:

It is critical that divided boards are clear as to what the mission and the priorities of a ministry are. Philosophical differences reflect a lack of clarity and until that lack of clarity is dealt with the board will remain divided.

Divided boards are often the result of one or more individuals who will not submit their will to the will of the group. This is both unbiblical and it is poor leadership. If a board member cannot in good conscience submit to the will of the majority they should resign. Allowing the board to remain divided hurts the organization.

At times, boards are divided because the board does not have good governance practices. For instance, I have worked with boards where disgruntled staff are regularly talking to board members who then have information that other board members don't have and which undermines the leader. Often, a change in governance practices can bring the board greater health.

There are times when the only way to solve a divided board is for the minority to choose to step aside so that the board can move forward in in unity. While it is a significant step to take, divided boards are dangerous and if the division be resolved together it is better for the minority to step aside. 

Divided boards usually need an outside consultant to help them work through divisive issues. Consultant's however can only help if the board as a whole is willing to humble itself and deal with its dysfunction, whatever the source. Wherever we stand, the ministry as a whole and its health comes before our own desires. 

Don't ignore a divided board. Do whatever is necessary to deal with it for the sake of the ministry.
  • Feb 04, 2013
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
Leave a comment