Wednesday, July 17, 2019

LESSON 22 - Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Tim Lucas is our guest blogger this week for the fifth of five lessons in "Part 6: Boardroom Time-Wasters, Trouble-Makers, and Truth-Tellers.”


LESSON 22 OF 40 – Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand 
Church boards have a natural gravitational pull toward issues that should be reserved for the church staff.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 22, the authors describe a gallon jar filled with big rocks, small pebbles, and sand. To lead effectively, church boards must laser-focus on “big rocks”—the major issues impacting their church’s future—not day-to-day ministry minutiae that should be delegated to staff. A pebbles and sand approach in the boardroom will frustrate leaders and inevitably limit a church’s growth.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 22, pages 117-122:
• “Many smaller churches fail to grow because their boards are populated with pebble-pickers!”
• “Pebbles and sand are the church operational issues, staff supervision, specific ministry plans or strategies, and details of church life that other people should handle. Follow the basic rule of delegating everything possible to the church staff.”
• “The board chair…and senior pastor must build into the board’s DNA a stewardship conviction that big rocks are their focus. If not done with intentionality, minor issues will inevitably tempt board members to build sand castles—not Kingdom structures.” 
MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
We’ve all been in “those” meetings—you know, the ones that got hopelessly lost in the weeds of ministry minutiae like: debating dates for the Christmas program…the logistics of a missions trip…or critiquing the new youth outreach. 

Precious time is lost—and energy squandered!—when board members succumb to the temptation to dabble in the “pebbles and sand” that are best handled by church staff.

In contrast, high-performance boards are laser-focused on addressing the “big rocks”—the major issues driving the church’s mission, generating ministry momentum, and forging the church’s future. 

What are “big rock” issues? Mission-critical topics such as:
   • Vision and Values
   • Adding New Campuses
   • Financial Projections
   • Facility Expansion
   • Succession Planning

Notice that most of these topics are future-oriented—vision, expansion, projection, long-term planning. What’s intentionally omitted? Day-to-day operations that are best delegated to church staff (examples: staff supervision, calendaring, specific ministry plans, etc.).  

Effective boards don’t spin their wheels rehashing the past or even belaboring the present—instead, they look forward to where the church will be in three to five years. By delegating responsibility for day-to-day ministry decisions to staff, the church experiences a “double win:” 1) staff feel empowered to lead their people; and 2) the board is freed to dream about God’s future from a 30,000-foot level.

But the win-win won’t come easily. Hosting “big rock” discussions at the board level requires discipline. Every team includes personalities who, by nature, tend to be pebble-pickers who prefer getting into the weeds of church life. (A common rationale for pebble-pickers? “I just like to know what’s going on.”)

But an effective board chair and senior pastor will work together to carefully craft a “big rock” agenda in advance, put guardrails around discussion, and remain “alert for small rocks, pebbles, and sand finding their way onto the board table.”  

What happens if the meeting runs aground or discussion hits a sandbar? All board members should be empowered to “throw flags” if a conversation veers too far off-topic and graciously course correct to the major issues at stake.

Be warned: The growth of your church will rise and fall on your board’s ability to handle “big rocks only!” As the authors note, “It is very difficult for a church to grow beyond the small church ‘glass ceiling’ unless it gives up a pebbles and sand approach in the boardroom.”
Leaders, let’s roll up our sleeves and move some boulders!


THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY TIM LUCAS:



TIM LUCAS is the founder and lead pastor of Liquid Church, recognized as one of America’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Churches by Outreach magazine (2018). Tim started Liquid “on accident” with a dozen twenty-something friends meeting in the basement of a 150-year-old church. Since launching in 2007, Liquid has been on a rocket ship ride, growing to seven campuses across New Jersey with 5,000 people in Sunday attendance and more than 2,200 baptisms to date. 

A new book, Liquid Church: 6 Powerful Ministry Currents to Saturate Your City for Christ, by Tim Lucas and Warren Bird, will be published Sept. 10, 2019. A dynamic communicator, Tim is a sought-after conference speaker known for connecting God’s Word to modern life with humor, heart, and creativity. Liquid’s innovative approach to ministry has been spotlighted on CNN, FOX News, and The Today Show.  

Tim leads the Northeast Pastors Coaching Network to equip pastors, ministry leaders, church planters, re-planters, and churches of every shape and size. A graduate of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., Tim, and his wife Colleen, are raising their two children just outside of New York City. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @pastortimlucas. 

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Review the agendas from your last two to three church board meetings. What categories would you put each agenda item in—sand, pebbles, or big rocks?
• For your next board meeting, the senior pastor and board chair should meet in advance to plan and identify the big rocks for consideration. Map out the agenda together and agree in advance how to respond (and graciously redirect pebble-pickers) if small rocks and sand find their way into the discussion.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 22, “Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand.”
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Governance in Excellence Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019).








NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On July 24, 2019, watch for the commentary by Kevin Conner on Lesson 23, “Pastor Pay—It’s About More Than Just Money. Getting the compensation-setting process right must be a priority.”

ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

LESSON 21 – Back Off the Ledge of Dysfunctional Mayhem

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. John Vawter is our guest blogger this week for the fourth of five lessons in "Part 6: Boardroom Time-Wasters, Trouble-Makers, and Truth-Tellers.”


LESSON 21 OF 40 – Back Off the Ledge of Dysfunctional Mayhem
When dysfunction reigns, healthy board members head for the door.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 21, the authors note that not all church board members are healthy, mature, and mutually cooperative. This is sad news—but it is reality.

Nevertheless, gracious and candid confrontation on the part of the senior pastor and the board chair can solve the problem of dysfunction, either through resignations of unrepentant board members or genuine repentance. Obviously, the latter is the most desirable.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 21, pages 112-116:
It is a blessing when the senior pastor and board chair can agree on the “problem children” on the board.  
• It is an even greater blessing when the senior pastor and board chair are truth tellers who solve personnel issues with the grace of God…but they do solve the problems.
• It can be painful, but addressing the problems of immature board members is beneficial and healthier for the church in the long run.
MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
Francis Schaeffer said, “The spirit of the age always finds its way into the church.” The mean-spiritedness and the lack of healthy introspection in our society have found their way into the church boardroom in some instances. 

The issue of listening to, hearing, and obeying the voice of the Spirit of God begins with our being willing to “be quick to listen” in listening to one another, honoring others as more important than ourselves, and being quick to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  

Someone has wisely said that genuine listening is: paying attention until we understand, asking questions to help us understand, and making sure the person knows we are listening to him/her.

Too often church board members are chosen without any sense of Biblical standards, any commitment to good board behavior, and/or any stated commitment to being a respectful, Christian, mature and edifying member.  Asking board members to sign a covenant and commitment to God-honoring behavior before they join the board—and annually—will help to solve the problem of dysfunctional boards and dysfunctional board members.

It is not easy and it is not fun; indeed, it can be hard and it can be painful. But, for the senior pastor and the board chair to address dysfunctional behavior and insist on mature Christian behavior, helps both the board and the church have Christ-honoring ministry into the future.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY JOHN VAWTER:



Dr. John Vawter is a board member/coach with Timothy Connection and a consultant/speaker with Church Assistance Ministry. He has been in ministry since graduating from the University of Oregon.  He served for 10 years with CRU, including helping start the ministry in England and being the Northwest Area Director. He has pastored churches in Minnesota and Arizona and has been president of Western Seminary and Phoenix Seminary. 

John has taught D.Min. courses on pastoral leadership in seven seminaries and has also served as interim pastor at seven churches. He speaks regularly at conferences on the subject of male friendship based on the book he co-authored, Achieving High Performance Friendship: A Book for Men. He also speaks on addiction in the pastor’s home based on his book, Hit by a Ton of Bricks: You’re Not Alone When Your Child’s on Drugs.

Editor’s Note: John is also a “golf ball hawker” and is the author of the hilarious Kindle book, Anything for a Golf Ball: The Art of Finding Lost Golf Balls. He donates many of the thousands of balls he’s found to local high schools. His “hobby” was featured in this newspaper article in 2017.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• There must be a commitment to candor and a willingness to confront dysfunctional behavior on the board—even if it is only one board member.
• Much dysfunctional behavior is precluded by asking every member to sign an annual statement committing themselves to God-honoring behavior and honest discussions about the lack of it.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 21, Back Off the Ledge of Dysfunctional Mayhem.”
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Governance in Excellence Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019). 






NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On July 17, 2019, watch for the commentary by Tim Lucas on Lesson 22, “Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand. Church boards have a natural gravitational pull toward issues that should be reserved for the church staff.”


ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

LESSON 20 – Apply for a Staff Position and You Can Deal With That Issue!

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Amy Nikkel is our guest blogger this week for the third of five lessons in "Part 6: Boardroom Time-Wasters, Trouble-Makers, and Truth-Tellers.”


LESSON 20 OF 40 – Apply for a Staff Position and You Can Deal With That Issue!
Help board members not to cross the line into operational details.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 20, we learn that “sound governance requires that all board members understand and apply the principle of exiting the operational highway and trusting such matters to the senior pastor.” 

Sometimes the line between operational excellence and board oversight can be gray. There is a reason your board members were elected, and it is often because of the excellence and leadership they exude in their fields. However, it is important to realize that the collective value they bring is at an altitude that allows them to effectively strategize, govern, and protect—rather than being mired in the depths of operational details.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 20, pages 107-111:
• “When a board member meddles in operational details, the board’s collective value is wasted.”

• “It is during the actual board meetings, of course, when board members face the greatest temptation to delve into operational matters. And the board chair is the first line of defense for keeping discussions at the appropriate level.”
MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
At Life.Church, we have been blessed with a governing board that has willingly operated at the right altitude. Operational meddling has not been an issue for us. As I think back to why that might be the case, I quickly realize it is the altitude we defined and demonstrated. 

Most people will lead and give input at the level you ask of them because they desire to serve the church. The first question I encourage you to ask yourself is “What level am I asking my board to lead?” If that level needs to shift to get to the right governance altitude, determine what aspects need to change. 
   • Do staff present the appropriate amount of detail? 
   • Do questions need to be moderated? 
   • Is there a strategy and agenda for the meeting? Is it followed? 

Understanding this on the front end will bring clarity in communication and interactions, but it will also set appropriate expectations.

We have the benefit of gaining wisdom from a group of people who are successful leaders in the communities where we live and who are passionate about the church. Let’s honor and respect the time we have with them by creating a structure that allows for the most value collectively. This will require us to hold ourselves accountable to the structure, along with others; but, I believe the effort will be worth the outcome. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY AMY NIKKEL:



PASTOR AMY NIKKEL is the Chief Financial Officer at Life.Church, a multi-site church with 33 locations in 10 states. She is responsible for the operational oversight and strategic direction of all financial operations and influences the global initiatives and strategy of the church. Amy received her MBA with academic honors and has been with Life.Church for the past 12 years.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Make sure there is an effective philosophy of governance; one that is defined, updated and communicated to the board.
• Make sure there is a healthy culture to demonstrate and support governance objectives. A first step is simply creating an agenda, as “it’s a natural barrier to operational overreach.”
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 20, “Apply for a Staff Position and You Can Deal With That Issue!
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Governance in Excellence Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019). 









NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On July 10, 2019, watch for the commentary by John Vawter on Lesson 21, “Back Off the Ledge of Dysfunctional Mayhem.”

ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

LESSON 19 – Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Paul Willis is our guest blogger this week for the second of five lessons in "Part 6: Boardroom Time-Wasters, Trouble-Makers, and Truth-Tellers.”


LESSON 19 OF 40 – Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction
Beware of the ER Factor in the boardroom—ego and rivalry.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 19, Dan and John introduced the concept of either creating or extracting value from the church board. Our natural tendency is to lean towards what we want rather than what God wants to see happen at the church we serve. It’s the “checking the ego at the door” which will create value in a board rather than extract it. 

Value creators leave their own desires in the parking lot of board meetings, or better yet, before they even leave the house. They enter the room, fully prepared to lay down their selfish tendencies and collaborate to serve God’s purpose for what decisions need to be made for the betterment of the Kingdom. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 19, pages 103-106:
Board members fall into either of the two categories, with very few falling in the middle:

A value creator. “They focus on the vision of the ministry and contribute to its fulfillment. They operate in ‘growth gear.’ When all board members are creating value and making deposits into the good governance accounts, your board will lead at remarkable levels.”

A value extractor. “When a board member puts I over us, value is extracted. When a board member extracts value, it will prompt a downward spiral in the boardroom.” 

The ER Factor: “Ego and Rivalry often lead a board member to elevate self over others by posturing oneself as smart-ER, strong-ER, and bright-ER (which implies bett-ER) than others.”   

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
The board selection process is one that has to be taken with the utmost of sincerity and prayer. Adding a value creator not only “moves the needle” in adding excellence to a board, but value creators make those around them better too. We bring on board members to fill voids or strengthen areas; a personality type that’s missing, or demonstrated experience in an area that we want to see the church grow. 

As is with staff hiring, selection of board members is a crucial step in adding value to the church. We carefully screen, interview, and pray through the decision to bring a new board member onto the team, ensuring that there is no “ER factor,” but we can’t know everything about a candidate until they get into the environment. The only “win” that a board ever has is when God is glorified in the process, which ensures that egos are left in the parking lot. 

When value creators provide expertise without forcing an agenda (“Ego and Rivalry”), they challenge the status quo, and strengthen the board (and church). How is your board doing with ego and pet-projects? Are there any tough conversations that your board chair needs to have with one of its members?    

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY PAUL WILLIS:


PAUL WILLIS is the Executive Pastor of Business at WoodsEdge Community Church in Spring, Texas. He is currently leading a campus expansion project and is working closely with the Board of Elders to lead the church through the rapid growth that God is providing at WoodsEdge.

He led America’s finest Sailors as an Officer in the United States Navy for 23 years, and has led church teams through change, working lock-step with two church boards. Paul also provides IT and systems coaching for local churches. 

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Talk to your board about the process they use to raise and resolve issues. Are any of them driven by a particular member’s focus area, or is it readily apparent that one or more members are trying to steer the board towards (or away from) an issue?
• Read through the eight questions in Lesson 19 with your board and discuss any outlying issues.  
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 18, Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 19, “Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction.”
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Governance in Excellence Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019). 





NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On July 3, 2019, watch for the commentary by Amy Nikkel on Lesson 20, “Apply for a Staff Position, and You Can Deal With That Issue! Help board members not to cross the line into operational details.”

ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

LESSON 18 – Never Throw Red Meat on the Board Table

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Jon Grano is our guest blogger this week for the second of five lessons in "Part 6: Boardroom Time-Wasters, Trouble-Makers, and Truth-Tellers.”

LESSON 18 OF 40 – Never Throw Red Meat on the Board Table
Boards need advance preparation to fully address complex issues.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 18, the authors note that adequate advance preparation of a board meeting’s agenda and anticipated resolutions is essential for effective and efficient board governance. For complex issues especially, advance preparation honors the board’s use of time, helps ensure issues are more likely to be thought through and considered from multiple perspectives, and guards against final motions that aren’t as robust or forward-looking as they might have been.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 18, pages 98-102:
This chapter provides valuable rationale for the advantages of advance preparation. Favorite quotes: 
• “Without adequate advance preparation to fully address an issue, boards tend to function as committees of the whole, often resorting to painfully circuitous discussion. It can result in floating a resolution only to have it amended multiple times while the boardroom clock continues to tick, tick, tick.”
• “Shoot for the ‘no surprises’ standard… This will allow for content to be delivered in such a manner that the discernment process begins early. Let the board know in advance what decisions are required so they are prepared to make wise ones.”
• “Red meat is raw meat. The meat you serve your board should be well done…in advance!” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
Adequate advance preparation can be seen as a corporate application of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” In the same way we prefer not to be surprised with complex proposals that have not been carefully vetted, we can honor and serve our board colleagues by presenting them with resolutions in which we’ve taken the time to think through issues and implications ahead of time, in order to foster better board decision-making.

Advance preparation can also help focus resolutions on the core issues involved, and guard against getting sidetracked on peripheral issues.  

Proverbs 15:22 states, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Church boards exist to provide the “many advisers” needed for successful leadership. Board members are better able to serve as effective advisers and wise counselors when they receive well-developed resolutions from their colleagues prior to the start of each meeting. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY JON GRANO:



JON GRANO is Lead Pastor for Operations at Bethlehem Baptist Church, a multi-campus church in the Minneapolis area whose aim is to “spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ.”

Jon and his wife, Pam, have been actively involved in ministry at Bethlehem for nearly four decades, first non-vocationally while employed as a software developer and project leader, and since 2006 on the pastoral staff. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Review your procedure and timeline for distributing board agendas and proposed resolutions prior to the start of scheduled board meetings, to ensure adequate time is allowed for reflective thought and prayer.
• Consider creating a secure shared repository of past meeting minutes, with all associated referenced documents, as an archive to provide context for future board decisions and background details for new board members.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 18, “Never Throw Red Meat on the Board Table.” 
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Governance in Excellence Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019). 





NEXT WEDNESDAY:
On June 26, 2019, watch for the commentary by Paul Willis on Lesson 19, “Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction. Beware of the ER Factor in the boardroom—ego and rivalry.”

ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

LESSON 17 – Don’t Be Late—or Annoying!

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Tim Winters is our guest blogger this week for the third of three lessons in "Part 5: Boardroom Bloopers.”



LESSON 17 OF 40 – Don’t Be Late—or Annoying!
What’s worse than fingernails on a chalkboard? A boisterous board member at a prayer meeting.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 17, the authors note that we must deal directly with EGR (Extra Grace Required) board members.  Even on a church board, we must manage the tension we often find between truth and grace. 

If we manage this tension well, we will create a board culture of deep engagement. If we don’t manage it well, we will drift into a board no one wants to serve on.

To manage this tension well, the board chair must be given permission and have the courage to speak truth to inappropriately-behaving board members. The future of your board and church depend on it.  

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 17, pages 93-96:
 “Many boards have at least one dysfunctional board member. If you don’t know who that person is, it may be you!”
With no time in the meeting for deep engagement, “you’ll create an expectation of low expectations.”
• “Due diligence through reference checks during the board recruitment process” will save you a lot of problems later. 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
I was taught at a very young age by my father, that if I didn’t have anything good to say—to not say anything at all. I have met a lot of board members who have not been taught that lesson by their fathers. In my experience, many people who talk too much are dealing with insecurity. Likewise, many people who are timid and afraid to share are dealing with insecurity as well. What a great exercise the authors give us on page 96 for fostering a culture of security on our boards.

The late Coach John Wooden, who attended Shepherd, said to me once, “Minor details—like pennies—add up.  A good banker isn’t careless with pennies; a good leader isn’t sloppy about details.”

I try to be very specific about expectations of our church staff and culture. However, I have probably dropped the ball on expectations of board members. It could be that people are late and/or annoying because there has not been a direct conversation about expectations and culture on our boards.

We all know that what gets rewarded is what gets repeated. We need to start paying closer attention to what is getting rewarded or—better yet—what is being allowed on our boards. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY TIM WINTERS:



TIM WINTERS is the Executive Pastor of Shepherd Church. Shepherd is a diverse multi-ethic congregation of 11,000 on three campuses in Porter Ranch, Calif.

Tim has served in this position for 27 years and has been a part of their growth from 350 people and three staff to the multi-campus church it is today with a staff of 168.

Tim has served on many boards including Hope International University, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, Central India Christian Mission, and North American Christian Convention. Tim is also a coach with Intentional Churches and works with churches across the country to double their impact in five years.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• At the end of your next board meeting, ask a good listener to go around the table and affirm each member for at least one specific contribution in the meeting.
• Establish a list of questions to be asked of potential new board members that would indicate potential problems. (Is this person on time for meetings? A good listener? Is this person respectful of others?)
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 17, “Don’t Be Late—or Annoying!
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Governance in Excellence Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019). 






NEXT WEDNESDAY:
On June 19, 2019, watch for the commentary by Jon Grano 
on Lesson 18, “Never Throw Red Meat on the Board Table. Boards need advance preparation to fully address complex issues.”

ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

LESSON 16 – The Bully in the Church Boardroom

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we'll feature a guest blogger’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Werner Jacobsen is our guest blogger this week for the second of three lessons in "Part 5: Boardroom Bloopers.”


LESSON 16 OF 40 – The Bully in the Church Boardroom
God, the pastor, the board chair, and other board members must neutralize the board bully.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 16, the authors note that… 
• A church bully manipulates, pressures, blames, and coerces people to follow his/her idea or agenda.
• Church bullies wreak havoc and cause dissension, even when not in a leadership role like Chair.
• Church bullies do not listen well—yet they expect everyone else to listen to their position. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 16, pages 89-92:
 They are famous for using the phrase “People are saying…” Yet "people" is never defined. The true complainer is never identified.
• Appoint or elect individuals to key leadership positions with care. (Thus depriving the bully from a platform.)
• Be a high-expectations church. Higher expectation churches tend to be more unified…more servant-oriented. High expectations provide an environment where bullying is ineffective.

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
In addition to the bully use of “the people are saying…” stinger, some bullying types reference previous service experiences by saying “…when I served on XYX board, we did it this way.” They try to validate their position by associating it with another organization. It often points out that they are not really able to be credible in their own presentation. (And sometimes if they mention XYZ board too often, you wonder why they didn’t stay there!)

Bullies are often also capable of being passive-aggressive: if they do not agree with someone’s suggestion (because they do not have an “answer” to an issue) they may mention, “Why fix something if it is not broken?” And thus they hope to have their answer ready by next time!

Bullies, in their demanding and commanding manners, can tend to show a goodly amount of arrogance—and arrogance makes any message offensive. But they do not understand that result any better than they understand how bullying their style is. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY WERNER JACOBSEN:


Werner Jacobsen is currently the Elder Chair for Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, Calif. He has served in numerous local and national board roles, including church, denomination, higher education, and community. 

A former CEO and CFO, Werner now chairs a CEO roundtable group of Christian CEOs/Owners who seek to be better stewards in the marketplace with the resources God has entrusted to their leadership.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Check to be certain your Board Policies Manual provides responsibility and authority to the Chair to deal with bullying members.
• Do not let a bullying situation fester. Address it with a God-honoring solution. (And that may mean asking the bully to leave.)
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “Lesson 16 – The Bully in the Church Boardroom.”






NEXT WEDNESDAY:
On June 12, 2019, watch for the commentary by Tim Winters on Lesson 17, 
"Don’t Be Late—or Annoying!”

ORDER THE BOOK TODAY!



BULK ORDERS: Click here.  For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.