Sep 30, 2010
If September’s workshop attendance is any indicator, ministries around the country are hungry to grow effective boards.
The principles we shared were at once convicting and encouraging, simple and sophisticated, immediate and long term. With minor tweaks based on three basic concepts, board members and CEOs could reap major rewards. Let’s review the principles:
Prayer -- the most important thing your board does. I’ve had the privilege this year of serving on the board of one of my favorite organizations. We gather monthly with the staff (despite the fact that half the staff is on the other side of the globe) and pray over the phone. If your board hasn’t met recently with the singular intention of seeking God on behalf of those you serve, I recommend you do it right away.
One Voice -- the moment your board members leave the boardroom they revert to champion status and as such should be coached like any other champion of your cause. If you’re a board member ask to be coached and if you’re a CEO seek to humbly coach your board to full maturity in relation to your cause.
Policy Governance -- We recommended Carver’s model saying that a set of policies is the greatest gift a board can give. Find the book here.
For some, the principles were revolutionary, and they answered the “how” question. But, some may still be asking the “why” question -- Why do boards exist?
In a word? Accountability. Boards, of course, provide fiscal and legal accountability. But, in Christian ministries, they also provide spiritual accountability. I was dismayed that many organizations we worked with this month expressed deep dysfunction in their CEO/Board relationships. So, while the principles above can have a big impact, I think there’s one step that might be even more important – repentance that leads to good, old-fashioned, biblical peacemaking. If you are a CEO who bristles at the accountability offered by your board, if you refuse to submit to their God given authority over you, if you are grasping tightly to your own authority and power, I plead with you to repent, confess and make peace. If you are a board member who oversteps the boundaries of the One Voice principle, who refuses to trust your CEO, who is unwilling to be coached in the cause … likewise … repent, confess and make peace.
So, I encourage you to schedule a free, one-hour coaching session with your GTO to begin applying the principles offered in this month's workshops, but you should know that your GTO will not abide board bashing or fingers pointed at ineffective CEOs. He or she will graciously remind you that God has already given you exactly who and what you need to accomplish His purposes. They'll ask the tough questions about your need for repentance, confession and peacemaking. And, they'll pray with you about receiving and growing the spiritual accountability that will nurture your board and your organization.
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