Wednesday, May 1, 2019

LESSON 11 – Tap! Tap! Tap!

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. Peter F. Clements is our guest blogger this week for the first of four lessons in "Part 4: Epiphanies in the Boardroom.”

LESSON 11 OF 40 – Tap! Tap! Tap!
Does the Spirit hear a busy signal when nudging your board?

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 11, the authors emphasize the importance of allowing space in your board meetings for members to be aware of and responsive to God’s gentle promptings while still efficiently completing the agenda. Failure to do so may result in missing prime opportunities for God’s power to be revealed in our meetings as members pray and discern together.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 11, pages 60-64:
The authors suggest a few ways that your board can avoid missing that important nudge from the Holy Spirit:
Develop a discipline of stillness: Scripture is full of examples of those who took the time to be still and hear from God at pivotal moments. Our boards should practice the discipline of being quiet and mindfully listening for His voice.
Commit to slow down—lower the RPMs: The tendency to be in a rush to complete the agenda can interrupt the flow of the Spirit in our meetings. We need to remind ourselves that it is possible to be aware of God’s promptings while still being attentive to the tasks at hand.
Understand that any board member can feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit: It is important to have clarity amongst the board that the chair is not the only one who can call for prayer during the meeting. All board members should feel free to interrupt the flow when they feel that it is time for prayer or to be quiet in His presence.

As leaders, we are intuitively aware of the pressure to maximize our own time efficiency and that of our boards as a matter of practicing good stewardship. That drive to accelerate decision making and get things done can unfortunately pre-empt a necessary move of God amid our meeting deliberations. I can certainly attest to encountering situations as a leader and as a board member in which all the combined intellect and best devices in the room could not lead us to a resolution—and THEN we decided to pray and seek the mind of the Lord. What if we approached it differently and made prayer a priority in our meetings?

True empowerment from the Spirit can come in the form of divine wisdom, uncommon courage, increased confidence, or even a miracle. But it only comes when we as leaders exercise enough spiritual discernment to flow back and forth between fulfilling the meeting agenda and listening to the Father’s still small voice for direction.  

Let us commit to attending to the state of our own hearts so that we can be prepared when the time comes for our board meetings to be interrupted by a time of prayer or waiting on God for guidance, bringing eternal value and lasting impact to our time together. 


Rev. Peter F. Clements serves as the President/CEO of Church Extension Plan in Salem, Ore.  Church Extension Plan (CEP) is a ministry providing premier financial and administrative services to the churches and districts of the Assemblies of God and their constituents. Prior to his election as CEP’s President, Peter served as CFO for over 10 years. He possesses a strong background in finance and information technology, and his leadership strengths are in the areas of motivating team collaboration and strategic thinking.  He has served on both church and non-profit boards. Peter, and his wife, Karen, make their home in Salem and have three amazing children, Andrew, Allison, and Luke.

• Read chapter 10, “Get Set: From Decision Making to Discernment” from Ruth Haley Barton’s book, Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups.
• Take time to review and reflect on your last few board meetings to determine if there were moments where you should have stopped to pray but did not.  Make a commitment to one another as board members to be attuned to those moments in the future and to stop and pray. 
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “Lesson 11 – Tap! Tap! Tap!




On May 8, 2019, watch for the commentary by David Fletcher on Lesson 12, "Looking for Consensus but Finding Division. Finding consensus on challenging issues requires deft handling and a flexible approach by the board chair.”


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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