8 Keys to a Healthy Church Board

These principles have contributed to healthy board relationships at our church.

I serve as lead pastor at West Park Church in London, Ontario, having served my entire ministry in the U.S. prior to my move to Canada five years ago. One of my greatest joys has been working with our current elder board. I’ve never worked with a board that has accomplished so much with so much unanimity and harmony. I believe these eight reasons explain why this board works so well together.

1. Prayer

We always begin our meetings with a focus on God’s Word and prayer. And our prayers are not the perfunctory prayer-ettes. We often pray for an extended time for the needs in the church. This keeps us focused on our shepherding role.

2. Preparation

I meet with the chair and vice-chair a few weeks prior to plan our meetings. We prepare an agenda that we email to the entire team before the meeting. They know what to expect.

3. No Tie Breakers

Although I’m an elder, I don’t have a vote on the board. When the board has to approve some significant issue, I give my perspective, but I’m never in a position to be a deciding a vote. Most of the decisions the board has made have been unanimous or near unanimous.

4. Unity in Disagreement

Our meetings are not filled with all happy talk. We’ve had serious discussions and shared different perspectives on issues. But we agree that when we leave the board room, we speak as one.

5. Listening Perspective

Every one on the board truly listens to everyone else’s perspectives. When we disagree, we do so with respect, having first truly listened to each other.

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6. Blood, Sweat and Tears

No church is perfect and neither is ours. Before I arrived, the board had invested extremely long hours dealing with significant issues the church faced. They have invested much and don’t sit in an ivory tower apart from the day in and day out tough stuff in our church. They have “paid their dues,” so to speak, and want what’s best for the church.

7. Focused Meetings

We meet once a month and just decided last year to give each meeting a unique slant. After a prayer time, we focus on one major strategic issue while our minds are fresh. We then deal with tactical stuff.

8. Appreciation

Often I hear different board members share words of appreciation for each member’s unique contributions. I also often thank and appreciate the board members for their service.

It’s a joy serving on a board that works through tough stuff, but does so with grace and intention.

What keys have made your board work well?

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This article originally appeared on CharlesStone.com.