09 Feb '12
Church board self assessment: Fifteen Questions
If you are a church board member, how would you rate the quality of your board's work? As one who consults with church boards I am encouraged by the concern of many board members to raise the bar when it comes to the leadership and governance of their board. For many boards there is still much to do and for all boards, honest self evaluation is a critical factor in leading at a higher level.
Here are some basic questions that can help a board rate its current work and look for areas where they can do better. What I suggest is that each board member answers these questions with one of three colors: Red, yellow or green.
Red means that the board is not performing well at all in an area. Yellow means that improvements could be made. Green means that things are going well. Remember, you are looking for areas where you can improve so yellow and red are not bad colors in themselves. What you do with the yellows and reds is the critical question. Visual management is helpful so I would actually encourage you to use colors in answering these questions.
These fifteen questions should spark some good, candid and robust dialogue among board members. Be honest, listen to one another and ask the hard questions of yourselves so that you can go to the next level.
1. Our board meetings start and end on time and there is always a clearly defined agenda. Red/Yellow/Green
2. Our board is able to engage in robust dialogue around any issue as long as there are no personal attacks or hidden agendas. There are no elephants we cannot discuss. Red/Yellow/Green
3. We have a written board covenant that defines how we operate together and we keep that covenant. Red/Yellow/Green
4. We spend more time thinking about the future than we spend on current issues. Red/Yellow/Green
5. We delegate management to staff and stay focused on the big rocks of direction and health. Red/Yellow/Green
6. We insist that our staff operate with a clear annual ministry plan. Red/Yellow/Green
7. Our senior pastor has a clear annual plan which forms the basis of an annual review. Red/Yellow/Green
8. Our board itself has an annual plan in how they will grow in their leadership and governance. Red/Yellow/Green
9. Our board has a clear job description as to its responsibilities and role and all new board members are clearly trained in those responsibilities. Red/Yellow/Green
10. Our board has a clear picture of what they desire the church to become and has clearly articulated this vision to the congregation. Red/Yellow/Green
11. We candidly evaluates the health of the church based on that clearly articulated vision. Red/Yellow/Green
12. We do not ignore real issues that exist on staff or in the congregation because of conflict or issue avoidance. Red/Yellow/Green
13. The leadership structures of our church are designed to help leaders lead easily and make decisions quickly. Red/Yellow/Green
14. We regularly spend time in concerted prayer for the ministry and needs of the congregation. Red/Yellow/Green
15. We guard the gate of leadership so that we get the best leaders who are wired to lead and to keep the spiritual temperature of the church high. Red/Yellow/Green