Wednesday, April 24, 2019

LESSON 10 – Prioritize Prayer Over Problems

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. Jeff Lilley is our guest blogger this week for the third of three lessons in "Part 3: Nominees for the Church Board Member Hall of Fame.”

LESSON 10 OF 40 – Prioritize Prayer Over Problems
Create space for prayer—serious supplications for a serious work.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 10, the authors discuss how we spend so much time focusing on the work our church does for God, and how, sometimes, we can minimize God Himself. The concept is that prayer shouldn’t just be a token ritual, or simply an agenda item (somewhere between the “Call to Order” and “Approval of Minutes”).  

Instead, this chapter suggests that how we come before God affects every aspect of the meeting that follows. It’s almost as if we’re acknowledging that God actually cares about what happens in our board meetings.  

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 10, pages 54-48:
Dan Bolin’s prayer! It is inspired—and you can get it and use it for free! (Read Lesson 40 here.) 
• “Christ-centered governance has a boardroom distinctive that requires a serious intentionality about prayer.”
• “When you take time to pray…God promises to hear and act.” 

The first time I read Dan Bolin’s board prayer in Lesson 40, I instantly wondered if he had somehow secretly been listening in on every board meeting I’ve ever attended. It was as if he wrote the prayer because of events and issues our board has faced.  

It’s clear that Bolin knows well the challenges, temptations, and curve balls that come when you fill a room with influential men and women, and then ask them to come together as one body.

The idea for the story in this chapter (borrowed from Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom) is from the years I served as CEO of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission—when I forgot to bring “A Board Prayer” to our board meeting. I can assure you that it has never been forgotten since! 


JEFF LILLEY is Senior Associate Pastor & Elder at EVFree Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif. He previously served as the CEO of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and Hume Lake Christian Camps. Jeff has served on multiple other boards, and was as a board coach for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust’s Board Leadership and Development Program. He also has 19 grandkids, who (he says) are all better looking than yours! His favorite books include The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, Humility by Andrew Murray, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Jeff can be found on Instagram @JeffL7, or the church’s website here.

• Make photocopies of “A Board Prayer” (Lesson 40), one per board member, and have it ready for the next board meeting!
• Buy copies of your favorite book on prayer and send one to every board member, with a note that you are praying for them. (Which, of course, means you better actually pray for them!)
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “Lesson 10 – Prioritize Prayer Over Problems” and Lesson 40, “A Board Prayer.”


On May 1, 2019, watch for the commentary by Peter Clements on Lesson 11, "Tap! Tap! Tap! Does the Spirit hear a busy signal when nudging your board?”


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

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