Wednesday, April 17, 2019

LESSON 9 – Listen to the Wisdom of Many Counselors

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

LESSON 9 OF 40 – Listen to the Wisdom of Many Counselors
Don’t ask board members to vote against God!

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 9, we are challenged not to pit the governing board against God. If the pastor always has “a word from God,” it will be very difficult for the board to weigh in without seeming to go against what “God said.” In the process, we discount the counsel of wise people of God. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 9, pages 50-53:
• “All morning you used a troubling phrase with our board: ‘God told me we should…’”
• “If you’re absolutely sure God told you to do something, just do it.” 
• “If you believe—like I do—the Scriptures teach that there is wisdom in many counselors, then please change your rhetoric...” 

There is such a fine balance—for pastors—between acting upon the sense of what God is calling you to do, and listening to the counsel of others. Today, upon reading this lesson, I was convicted about some of my own language during my years as a pastor. There were certainly times I felt the need to assure our leaders that I was attempting to “listen and hear” from God. Looking back, I can see how there were likely times I used this almost to my advantage. Who wants to say “no” to God? Certainly not the leaders who are governing our churches!

At the same time, God continually encouraged me to surround myself with the wisest, godliest people I could find to serve in church leadership. Why would we bring them to the table if we were not willing to listen to their advice?  
I’m convinced, especially in my new role at Leadership Network, that some of our best answers to problems in the church—and best practices to move the mission of the church forward—are sitting among the collective wisdom of the people God has allowed and prompted us to bring to the table. Let us incorporate their collective wisdom well. 


After serving 16 years as a pastor, following over 20 years in the business world, Ron Edmondson is the new CEO of Leadership Network, which helps the church accelerate growth and innovation so we can all make more disciples. 

Ron is also a noted leadership blogger. See his must-read recent blog, “A Meeting No Leader Likes to Have, But Should Always Consider Having.” He is also the author of The Mythical Leader: The Seven Myths of Leadership.

Ron and his wife, Cheryl, have two adult sons, one married and one about to be married, both serving in the local church. They also have one amazing granddaughter and another grandchild on the way. 

• Take an inventory of your language when sharing with your board. Where are your ideas originating? Are you giving room for input?
• Build a culture of inclusion—where every voice at the table is welcomed, including those you have to prod to give their input. Wise leaders ask good questions and listen more than they speak.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “Lesson 9: Listen to the Wisdom of Many Counselors.”


On April 24, 2019, watch for the commentary by Jeff Lilley on Lesson 10, "Prioritize Prayer Over Problems. Create space for prayer—serious supplications for a serious work.”


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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