Wednesday, August 7, 2019

LESSON 25 – Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome

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. Leonard O. Leach is our guest blogger this week for the third of four lessons in "Part 7: Boardroom Best Practices.”

LESSON 25 OF 40 – Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome
There are three unhealthy ways that many church boards respond to empty chairs at board meeting. (Ho Hum. Hint. Harass)

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 25, the authors stress the view that absenteeism should not be tolerated on the church board. They list seven healthy insights that provide a more appropriate and effective response to the problem of absent board members.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 25, pages 133-137:
Recruit committed and faithful people up front to avoid absentee problems.
• Establish a written policy on board meeting attendance requirements. 
• “Affirm, Affirm, Affirm.” The authors explain, “When board colleagues affirm each other, then engagement will heighten and board service satisfaction will soar.”
• Address absentee issues early. 

It has been my experience that many people like to wear the badge of board membership but few want to accept the burden of responsibility, particularly where attendance at meetings is concerned. Fewer still are aware of the blessing that is theirs from serving the Kingdom of God by giving faithful service through membership on the church board of directors.

Your board needs and deserves those who will faithfully invest the time to contribute to key matters of church governance by showing up at the board meetings.

Additionally, your board should be challenged with the thought of the “ministry of presence.” They should also be challenged with the truth that board membership is a blessing as board members are participating in the Kingdom of God work of “making disciples for Christ.”

Finally, as your church board continues to pursue its Kingdom of God assignment, encourage members to see the big picture and faithfully participate in every stroke that better defines, develops, and maintains that picture.  


Leonard O. Leach has served 22 years as senior pastor of the 61-year-old, Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church of Garland, Texas, now blessed with 2,500 members.

Prior to his tenure at Mount Hebron, he served in many capacities for 19 years on staff with the late Dr. E. K. Bailey of the Concord Church Dallas.  Pastor Leach is a graduate of the former Bishop College, in Dallas, Texas, Texas A & M University in Commerce, Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Sharon. They have two daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

• Review board policies. Do they include a policy on attendance? If, not, write one!
• Deal with habitually absent members quickly, kindly and consistently.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 25, “Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome.”
• Inspire your board members to enrich their governance competencies at the ECFA Excellence in Governance Forums (eight cities, Fall 2019).

On August 14, 2019, watch for the commentary by Bill Hoyt on Lesson 26, “Before the Board Meeting. Collaborate, then wisely build the board meeting agenda.”


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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