Wednesday, December 4, 2019

BONUS RESOURCE – How Healthy Is Your Board?

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Over the last 40 Wednesdays, we've featured 40 guest writers and their favorite snippet from the week's topic. Today's bonus lesson is written by Michael Martin.




BONUS RESOURCE – ChurchBoardScore™
Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Church boards rarely take time to self-assess their governance performance. They either don’t realize the need to do so—or are too busy tackling whatever may be the most urgent agenda items that pop up whenever the next board meeting rolls around. 

Instead, regularly investing in targeted self-assessments on the six key governance elements highlighted in the free ChurchBoardScore™ tool by ECFA will pay dividends in increasing your church board’s effectiveness! 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from pages 219-224: 
• As Rick Warren says, “The secret to effectiveness is to know what really counts, then do what really counts, and not to worry about all the rest.”
• Don’t underestimate the power of intentionality in your board work—clear agendas, Board Policies Manual, Prime Responsibility Chart, 80/20 focus on strategy, and more!
“Progress starts only when you are clear on where you are right now. You may discern that the board is under-performing in a certain area, but until the board has a laser focus on the problem, it will be difficult to take action.”

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
One of my favorite calls at ECFA this year came from a senior pastor who had just taken the ChurchBoardScore™ self-assessment. He was so grateful for the experience that he couldn’t wait to share it with his entire board in an upcoming retreat that weekend. 

ChurchBoardScore™ gave these leaders an opportunity (and excuse!) to enter into much-needed discussion together about ways the board could collectively improve in the six critical governance areas. I’m so grateful a transformative tool like this now exists and is free to churches everywhere!

Whatever you do, don’t miss this bonus lesson that provides an incredible capstone learning experience from all the great wisdom shared by Dan and John in Lessons from the Church Boardroom.


THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL MARTIN:


MICHAEL MARTIN serves as executive vice president of ECFA. He oversees the compliance team, with a passion for helping churches and ministries maintain high standards of financial integrity through ECFA membership. Michael also uses his training as an attorney and CPA to contribute to ECFA’s many practical educational resources, including books, webinars, videos, podcasts, and more.

Michael has been privileged to support several key ECFA initiatives since 2011, including the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations and the launch of the ECFA church website and the ChurchEXCEL free resource community.

Beginning with the 2013 edition, Michael joined Dan Busby as a co-author of the annual Zondervan Minister’s Tax & Financial Guide and the Zondervan Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide.

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Visit ChurchBoardScore™ and take a few minutes to complete the free online self-assessment.
• Share your experience and a link to ChurchBoardScore™ with your board chair to circulate the self-assessment tool among the rest of your board.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the bonus resource, “How Healthy Is Your Board?







LAST WEDNESDAY: For an index to all 40 blogs and all 40 guest bloggers, visit the bonus resource posted on Nov. 27, 2019. Click here.

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, November 27, 2019

BONUS LESSON 41 – Index to 40 Blogs and 40 Guest Bloggers

Welcome to Lessons From the Church Boardroom—The Blog, a 40-week journey through the book, Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Over the last 40 Wednesdays, we've featured 40 guest writers and their favorite snippet from the week's topic. Here is a click-on menu of all 40 bloggers and 40 lessons.




CLICK-ON INDEX TO ALL 40 LESSONS:

ECFA is grateful to our 40 guest bloggers who shared their insights and color commentary on all 40 lessons over the last 40 Wednesdays. Click on one or two lessons—and share them with your board members today!

PART 1: THE POWERFUL IMPACT OF HIGHLY ENGAGED BOARDS
1) Wanted: Lifelong Learners (Art Rhodes)
2) Ask the Gold Standard Question (Jeff Jenness)
3) Guarding Your Pastor’s Soul (Dave Stone)
4) What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (Bobby Schuller)

PART 2: BOARDROOM TOOLS AND TEMPLATES
5) Do Unwritten Board Policies Really Exist? (Denise Craig)
6) Enhance Harmony by Clarifying Your Participant Hat Expectations (Glenn Wood)
7) Eliminate Fuzziness Between Board and Staff Roles (Monty Kelso)

PART 3: NOMINEES FOR THE CHURCH BOARD MEMBER HALL OF FAME
8) Thrive With Four Kingdom Values (William Vanderbloemen)
9) Listen to the Wisdom of Many Counselors (Ron Edmondson)
10) Prioritize Prayer Over Problems (Jeff Lilley)

PART 4: EPIPHANIES IN THE BOARDROOM
11) Tap! Tap! Tap! (Peter Clements)
12) Looking for Consensus but Finding Division (David Fletcher)
13) Caution! Understand the Governance Pendulum Principle (Phill Martin)
14) Be Intentional About Your First 30 Minutes (Steve Stroope)

PART 5: BOARDROOM BLOOPERS
15) Do Not Interrupt! (Ryan Britt)
16) The Bully in the Church Boardroom (Werner Jacobsen)
17) Don’t Be Late—or Annoying! (Tim Winters)

PART 6: BOARDROOM TIME-WASTERS, TROUBLE-MAKERS, AND TRUTH-TELLERS
18) Never Throw Red Meat on the Board Table (Jon Grano)
19) Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction (Paul Willis)
20) Apply for a Staff Position and You Can Deal With That Issue! (Amy Nikkel)
21) Back Off the Ledge of Dysfunctional Mayhem (John Vawter)
22) Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand (Tim Lucas)

PART 7: BOARDROOM BEST PRACTICES
23) Pastor Pay—It’s About More Than Just Money (Kevin Conner)
24) How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom? (Justin Steinhart)
25) Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome (Leonard Leach)
26) Before the Board Meeting (Bill Hoyt)

PART 8: BOARDROOM WORST PRACTICES 
27) Defending Risks Everywhere Is Not a Strategic Plan (David Middlebrook)
28) Where Two or Three Are Gathered on Social Media… (Eric Wakeling)
29) Keeping the Boardroom Afloat (Willie Nolte)
30) 7 Ways to Avoid a Financial Train Wreck (Bob Fry)

PART 9: BUILDING A 24/7 BOARD CULTURE 
31) Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel (Cathy Barrett)
32) Loose Lips Sink the Boardroom Ship (Don Walter)
33) “Good Is the Enemy of Great” (Jeffrey Salladin)
34) Break Bread, Not Relationships (Bill Ankerberg)
35) Common Misconceptions of Board Members (Frank Borst)
36) You Made Me Better Than I Was (Jim Masteller)

PART 10: BOARDS THAT LEAD
37) Is Your Board Color-Blind to Hazardous Condition Signs? (Danny de Armas)
38) Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the Boardroom (David Ashcraft)
39) Don’t Stretch Credulity with BHAGs and Stretch Goals (Lisa Penberthy)
40) A Board Prayer (Dan Bolin)

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 40, “A Board Prayer.” In the ECFA Knowledge Center, search for the other 39 lessons (above) and select one or two lessons to email to other board members.• Use this book to inspire your board members to be lifelong learners in God-honoring governance!






NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Dec. 4, 2019, watch for the bonus blog by Michael Martin, “How Healthy Is Your Board? Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.” Learn more about ECFA’s new ChurchBoardScore™ online self-assessment. 

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, November 20, 2019

LESSON 40 – A Board Prayer

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. Dan Bolin is our guest blogger this week for the fourth of four lessons in "Part 10: Boards That Lead.”




LESSON 40 OF 40 – A Board Prayer
“Dear God . . . Grant us the joy of arriving at adjournment closer to one another because we are closer to You.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Co-authors Dan Busby and John Pearson invited Dan Bolin, author of Lesson 40, “A Board Prayer,” to add his insights to this prayer—a model prayer for every church board for every board meeting. As one executive pastor said, “The first time I read Dan Bolin’s prayer, I instantly wondered if he had somehow secretly been listening in on every board meeting I ever attended.”

COLOR COMMENTARY FROM DAN BOLIN:
In his letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul provides each with a list of qualities they should look for in the leaders of their churches. Today, many churches scan the lists and look at a few big issues: family life, drunkenness, debauchery, and ability to handle God’s Word well. 

Those are important, even critical, but ironically, selection committees often overlook the many other qualities of life that Paul outlines. These sometimes-overlooked qualities significantly impact the nobility of the board’s demeanor, and the effectiveness of its operation. 

If church boards are to be healthy, function effectively, and reflect their Christian beliefs, these lesser-observed qualities must receive a little more attention. Paul mentions: self-controlled, gentle, not quarrelsome, not arrogant, not quick tempered, a lover of good, and disciplined (1 Timothy 3:2-3, Titus 1:7-8). 

The technical excellence described in the first 39 chapters of Lessons From the Church Boardroom, and explored in these related blogs, becomes wood, hay, and stubble without a deep commitment to the spiritual beliefs and behaviors we espouse. “A Board Prayer” is designed to refocus our personal and corporate hearts on the one thing that is essential for every church board—doing God’s work, God’s way.
As church board members, don’t pretend that the ends justify the means. For church boards, the means validate the ends. Take time to stop and realign your hearts, individually and corporately, with the things you truly believe. Live out the godly qualities Paul described as the gateway characteristics into the noble service of church board leadership.

  
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY DAN BOLIN:


DAN BOLIN is retired but continues to speak and write as the president of Refueling in Flight Ministries, a small nonprofit committed to encouraging the Christian community. Dan strives to provide hope, inspiration, and truth to those living life in this busy and demanding world. Dan led three Christian nonprofit organizations during his career.

He served as the CEO of Pine Cove Christian Camps for 14 years, president of KVNE and KGLY Radio for nine years, and international director of Christian Camping International for 11 years. He has served on the boards of numerous Christian organizations and is the author of eight books, including How to Be Your Daughter's Daddy: 365 Ways to Show Her You Care, and How to Be Your Little Man's Dad: 365 Things to Do with Your Son (with Ken Sutterfield).


TO-DO TODAY: 
• Email A Board Prayer” (Lesson 40) to the members of your board and ask them to read it three times before your next meeting.
• Put a star by the bullet points that your board is doing well. In your next board communication, thank them for living out those aspects of godly, board governance.
• Put a check mark by two or three bullet points where you would like to improve personally. Begin to pray for wisdom, strength and courage to change. 
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 40, “A Board Prayer.”






NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Nov. 27, 2019, watch for the click-on index to all 40 blogs and guest bloggers.

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, November 13, 2019

LESSON 39 – Don’t Stretch Credulity With BHAGs and Stretch Goals

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. Lisa Penberthy is our guest blogger this week for the third of four lessons in "Part 10: Boards That Lead.”




LESSON 39 OF 40 – Don’t Stretch Credulity With BHAGs and Stretch Goals 
The actual achievement of audacious goals is very uncommon.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 39, the authors caution board members that stretch goals and audacious targets—referred to by churches as Big Holy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)—can even with the purest of intentions, and the great aspirations of a senior pastor, put the church in danger.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 39, pages 210-213:
• “…some churches employ stretch goals as a magical formula to ‘resuscitate or transform an ailing’ strategy.”
• “But before your board approves a fly-to-the-moon strategic plan, be sure your church is in step with God’s leading.”

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)

It is a fine line to balance a life—wise as serpents and harmless as doves—and in the boardroom of a church it may be seen as shrewd administration. Church boards must make decisions with intentionality—like that of sheep in the midst of wolves—all the while being wise like a serpent and pure like a dove. 

Shrewd administration is the Kingdom-minded approach to confronting the BHAGs of a senior pastor. When a senior pastor comes in with a stretch goal, it is the board members’ role to be intentional, ask questions, press in, and determine if the goal will further the mission or harm the mission. It is also the board members’ responsibility to be of gentle spirit—without being walked over—while being willing to take a risk without being taken advantage of. 

Audacious goals are rarely achieved, especially in the midst of new leadership, decline, or transition. Trust your board members, allow them to press and ensure that “…your church is in step with God’s leading.” 
  
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY LISA PENBERTHY:


REV. LISA R. PENBERTHY is the Leadership Education & Training Coordinator for The U.S. Foursquare Church and is an adjunct faculty member at Life Pacific University and SoCAL U, a local ministry institute, where she teaches leadership courses and Foursquare Heritage and Polity. In addition, she serves on multiple boards focusing on community and missional efforts as well as leadership development.

Prior to her role in leadership education and training, she served in various roles throughout the Foursquare movement including director of operations for the Foursquare U.S. Church, and Church Health facilitator. Throughout her years in ministry, Lisa has served alongside her husband in the local church as co-pastor. 

Lisa has earned a B.A. from Life Bible College, now Life Pacific University, a M.Div. from The King’s Seminary, now The King’s University and a MBA from Corban University. 

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Ask yourself the question: Does your board know they have the authority to say, “no” or “let’s do that a little different”?
• Steward what God has called you to lead—through the lens of “shrewd administration.” 
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 39, “Don’t Stretch Credulity With BHAGs and Stretch Goals.”







NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Nov. 20, 2019, watch for the commentary by Dan Bolin on Lesson 40, “A Board Prayer.” (Note: Many boards read this prayer together at the beginning of every church board meeting.)

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, November 6, 2019

LESSON 38 – Leverage the 80/20 Rule in The 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. David Ashcraft is our guest blogger this week for the second of four lessons in "Part 10: Boards That Lead.”




LESSON 38 OF 40 – Leverage the 80/20 Rule In The Boardroom
Invest 80% of your board work on future ministry opportunities—not rehashing the past.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 38, the authors note that it is a board’s responsibility to use its time wisely, ensuring that what is discussed in the board room will truly move the organization forward rather than simply spending board time describing what has happened in the past.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 38, pages 204-209:
• Redeem the time in every board meeting.”
• “The best church boards have a very strategic 80/20 rule: invest 80% of board work on the future; allocate only 20% of board work on the past.”
• “’Avoid Rearview Window Syndrome’…which is an exclusive focus on outcomes that only tell you where you’ve been.” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
Time may well be our most important commodity. Multiply the actual time spent in our board meetings by the number of board members present and we begin to get a sense of the true value (or cost) of our board meetings. What we choose to spend time discussing in our board meetings matters.

The easy default for most boards is to focus a majority of its attention on the past. It’s the time taken listening to reports that deal with past events and performance. Understanding where we have come from and what we have been doing is a critical responsibility of every board.  Without understanding our history and most recent activities, we are doomed to repeat negative behaviors again and again.  

Informed boards are clear about where their organization has come from and are not in the dark about what is happening right now. But allow me to let you in on a boardroom secret—few leaders long to be a part of a board that is simply well-informed. Rather, most leaders join boards with the hope of being a part of an effective board that moves beyond the past and the present—and into the future—in an attempt to move the organization forward.  

It is only with great discipline on the part of each board member that effective boards learn from their history but then move in to the future in order to accomplish God’s vision for their organization. This requires reviewing lag indicators that tell about past performance.  But more importantly, it also means being aware of lead indicators, which tell us where we are going in the future.  

Unfortunately, my observation is that it is true—hindsight is 20/20—which is why board discussions tend to drift back to the past again and again. It is easier to speak with confidence about the past and what we should have done differently than to speak with confidence about what we might need to do as we move into the future.

T
hus it is the responsibility of every board member to redeem the time in every board meeting—ensuring that time is spent moving the organization forward, not simply reliving the past.
  
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY DAVID ASHCRAFT:


DAVID ASHCRAFT serves as Senior Pastor of LCBC Church (Lives Changed By Christ) in Manheim, Pa. Over the past 28 years, LCBC has grown from one location with a weekly attendance of 150 people to multiple locations across the state of Pennsylvania and a combined average weekly attendance of over 17,000.  

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Redeem board time by evaluating board discussions. If time is spent discussing information that could be written and read in reports before the meeting—then start writing and start reading and save board interactions for dreaming about the future.  
• Implement a policy to not act on new ideas in the meeting when the new idea is first discussed. This defuses the “fear of the future” and ensures that ample time is given for personal reflection and God’s Spirit (and our spouses) to speak into that new idea.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 38, “Leverage the 80/20 Rule in The Boardroom.”
 Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the final ECFA Excellence in Governance Forum (one of eight this fall): Nov. 12 in Atlanta.







NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Nov. 13, 2019, watch for the commentary by Lisa Penberthy on Lesson 39, “Don’t Stretch Credulity With BHAGs and Stretch Goals. The actual achievement of audacious goals is very uncommon.”

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, October 30, 2019

LESSON 37 – Is Your Board Color-Blind to Hazardous Condition Signs?

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. Danny de Armas is our guest blogger this week for the first of four lessons in "Part 10: Boards That Lead.”




LESSON 37 OF 40 – Is Your Board Color-Blind to Hazardous Condition Signs?
What color is your boardroom flag?

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 37, we read about the different flags that fly during church board meetings. The colors represent the atmosphere in the room. A red flag means no progress or advancement; a yellow flag means be careful because there is potential danger ahead; and a green flag means put the pedal to the floor and take advantage of the opportunity to make progress.  

It is important for board members to understand the various flags that fly so they can respond accordingly. Failure to understand that meetings vary in color constantly can be the cause of significant conflict between church board members or between the board and the pastoral team.  

Recognizing the current color and knowing the factors that led to that color can help board members address the issues that most often create hazardous or halting situations. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 37, pages 200-203:
“In every board meeting there are flags that fly.”
• “Boards that know the color of the flag are in a position to more readily address issues that may cause ‘hazardous conditions.’”
• “Yellow flags are on the income statement. Red flags are on the balance sheet.” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
The atmosphere in the room is often the most important factor in having an effective meeting. When the green flag dominates a meeting, I leave the meeting with the “wind at my back.” When red or yellow flags are more dominate, I leave drained and weary.  

There are some obvious reasons we encounter yellow or red flags. Two common circumstances I’ve encountered—that negatively affect atmosphere—are when there’s existing conflict between board members or when any board member arrives at a meeting with an unstated but very purposeful agenda. We should be careful to avoid these situations when possible.  

Sensitivity to the atmosphere is one of the most critical competencies for any board member. This competency is like emotional intelligence but with application more towards a room of people not just an individual. Some people feel a room easily and others have little or no sensitivity to the atmosphere. One who is more aware of atmosphere will be able to make a speedier adjustment as the atmosphere changes during a meeting. This can be very useful to move the meeting back to green quickly and appropriately.  


In time, we can all learn to avoid the natural red flag factors. Doing so will keep our meetings productive and pleasant—ensuring continued participation by high capacity leaders. 
  
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY DANNY de ARMAS:


DANNY de ARMAS is the Senior Associate Pastor of First Baptist Orlando. He grew up in Orlando and was raised in the ministry where he now serves. As Senior Associate Pastor, he is responsible for the implementation of the vision as provided by the Senior Pastor and lay leaders. Danny serves on several local and national boards, including the North American Mission Board of the SBC and Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. He also serves as the chair of ECFA’s board of directors. In his spare time, Danny enjoys traveling with his wife, Betsy, spending time with his grandchildren, hunting, running marathons, and riding his Harley Davidson.  

TO-DO TODAY: 
• Evaluate your board members for sensitivity and awareness of atmosphere. Do you have any board members that are making matters worse by their insensitivity?
• Establish meeting agendas strategically to ensure green flags are flying most of the time.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 37, “Is Your Board Color-Blind to Hazardous Condition Signs?
 Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the final two ECFA Excellence in Governance Forums: Nov. 5 (S. California) and Nov. 12 (Atlanta).






NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Nov. 6, 2019, watch for the commentary by David Ashcraft on Lesson 38, “Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the Boardroom. Invest 80% of your board work on future ministry opportunities—not rehashing the past.”

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, October 23, 2019

LESSON 36 – You Made Me Better Than I Was

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. Jim Masteller is our guest blogger this week for the sixth of six lessons in "Part 9: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.”


LESSON 36 OF 40 – You Made Me Better Than I Was 
Church board experiences should leave all participants better than they were.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: The co-authors ask, “How can boards and senior pastors ensure that the boardroom experience will make everyone better than they were?” The answer: “It all starts with relationships.”

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 36, pages 194-197:
• “Max De Pree said, ‘Many people seem to feel that a good board structure enables high performance. This is simply not so.’”
• “He suggests that high impact church boards ‘spend reflective time together, they are vulnerable with each other, they challenge each other in love, and deal with conflicts as mature adults.’”

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
Over the years in various board roles, I’ve observed that closeness must be cultivated. I’ve noticed that the best boards are very intentional about attending to three areas. Board members must be:
   • Emotionally healthy
   • Spiritually healthy
   • Relationally healthy

Before we invite people onto boards, we should discern if they are healthy in these three critical areas. Healthy board members will create healthy boardrooms.

Trusting each other is a fundamental key of relational health. As a board chair, when I have sensed that something is amiss—I’ll pause and reflect, “Hey! What’s going on here?” So we’ll stop and talk and then pray. 

This year, when my term ended on our church board, the elders invited me to serve in a new role—board chaplain. We meet together to attend to both spiritual and relational health at 6 p.m.—a full hour before the 7 p.m. board meeting begins. I ask, “What’s going on in your life?” There’s freedom to be transparent. We share together and we have communion together.

In between board meetings, I meet one-on-one with board members—encouraging them in their emotional, spiritual, and relational journeys. My wife and I also make it a priority to have dinner with each elder and spouse several times a year.

Our goal is to inspire board members to bring the values and experiences of our 6 p.m. meeting into our 7 p.m. meeting! This has helped us enjoy board meetings that are stimulating—not irritating! 
  
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY JIM MASTELLER:


JIM MASTELLER, D.Min., a licensed marriage and family therapist, is the founder of the Center for Individual and Family Therapy (CIFT) in Southern California. He served as an Army chaplain for 20 years, a pastor for nine years, and has seen CIFT grow over 28 years to five offices and 75 therapists. He continues to provide oversight for CIFT while carrying a limited case load. Masteller also serves on the board of Overseas Missionary Fellowship International, and previously was the elder board co-chair at Rock Harbor Church, where he now serves as elder board chaplain.

 TO-DO TODAY: 
• Discern one or two intentional next steps that will help board members in their emotional, spiritual, and relational journeys.
• Self-assess: So far, has my personal experience on the church board enriched my life—and made be better than I was before? (And have I enriched the lives of other board members?)
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 36, “You Made Me Better Than I Was.”
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Excellence in Governance Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019).







NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Oct. 30, 2019, watch for the commentary by Danny de Armas on Lesson 37, “Is Your Board Color-Blind to Hazardous Condition Signs?”

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.