Wednesday, July 31, 2019

LESSON 24 - How Many Board Members Are Present in Your 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. Justin Steinhart is our guest blogger this week for the second of four lessons in "Part 7: Boardroom Best Practices.”

LESSON 24 OF 40 – How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom?
It’s more than just answering the roll call.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 24, the authors note that in order to have effective meetings, board members must be present—not just physically—but with their attention as well. As the board chair (and in some churches, the Lead Pastor), it’s your responsibility to lead this meeting and lead it well so that the board can be fully present at each and every meeting. Some of the suggestions include:
• Start your board meetings on time and end on time. 
Postpone the meeting if there’s not a strong agenda.
• Create an environment and culture conducive to work.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 24, pages 129-132:
• “Board members are some of the busiest people we know.”
• “Minimizing boardroom distractions will maximize meeting impact and enhance the possibility of hearing the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.” 
We’re social beings, so rather than try to pull people away from updating one another at the start of the meeting, why not include it as a part of the meeting? At our board meetings, the first item on the agenda is to have everyone give a personal update. This draws everyone into the meeting and requires personal attentiveness to those speaking. Starting out the meeting in this way grabs their attention and causes them to care from the onset of the meeting.

Since most of your board members are busy, it’s important not to meet for the sake of meeting. Everyone has things to do and people to see, so if there’s no need to meet, cancel the meeting. Your board will thank you and appreciate your leadership and discernment in postponing the agenda until the next meeting.


For the past seven years, Justin Steinhart has served as the Administrative Pastor at Mill City Church in Fort Collins, Colo. Mill City Church is a multi-site non-denominational ARC church-plant and has been an ECFA member for the past four years.

• Read Patrick Lencioni’s book, Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business.
 Review your meeting frequency to see whether or not you need to increase or decrease the frequency based upon the season of work you’re in.
• Do you honor your board members by starting and ending on time? 
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 24, “How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom?
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Excellence in Governance Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019).

On August 7, 2019, watch for the commentary by Leonard Leach on Lesson 25, “Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome. There are three unhealthy ways that many church boards respond to empty chairs at board meetings.”


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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