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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

02 Jun '12

Five issues often ignored by church and ministry boards

Posted by T.J. Addington in church boards, church health, church leadership
There are a number of issues that ministry boards often overlook, thinking that they are small items and not worth pressing into. These small items, however, have the potential to significantly impact the ministry over the long run.

1. Allowing their leader (pastor or other) to operate without a definable annual plan. The thinking is that we have a competent leader and insisting that he has an annual plan isn't that important. It is! 

If the senior leader does not have an annual plan then neither in most cases do other staff or the organization as a whole. Bad idea if you want a results oriented ministry.

2.  Not evaluating your pastor or ministry leader annually - and against the annual plan they developed. Again we think, at this level, evaluations are not important. In fact, at this level they are even more important because the leadership of your senior leader impacts everyone in the organization. 

In addition, it gives you a venue to talk about issues that you may want dialogue on. You don't want to start reviews when there is a significant issue. Get into the rhythm before issues arrive so that you have a venue to deal with them when they do.

3. Ignoring bad hires, early departures or trends with staff that could be warning signs of staff culture trouble. We want to give our senior leader great leeway and we should. But not at the expense of asking hard questions when there are warning signs flashing that all might not be well. If there is a warning light coming on, explore it, don't ignore it.

4. Allowing a leader to continue year after year when the ministry has plateaued, direction is missing and key people are departing because of it. We don't like confrontation (which is usually a good thing). But keeping quiet in the face of organizational decline is criminal for board members whose job it is to guard the organization. When senior leaders cannot lead well and they become the cause of ministry decline, they must transition out of their leadership role.

5. Not honestly and candidly evaluating themselves as a board - and allowing for unhealthy practices at the board level. Boards are not immune from the same scrutiny they give their leader and the ministry they oversee. When they are immune, they often allow unhealthy and non-missional behavior that hurts the organization they represent.

While these issues may not seem important to you right now there will come a day when they are. Ignoring them it a prelude to trouble that can be traced back to those in governance.