This ad will not display on your printed page.
When Tim entered the ministry, he honestly looked forward to working with his board members. Even though he'd heard his share of war stories, he figured his case would be different. If good people were elected and he discipled them carefully, he saw no reason why he and the board couldn't work as close partners in ministry.
Now, five years later, Tim isn't so sure. Instead of partners, they seem like adversaries. He's come to expect resistance as a normal part of the process. Many of his best ideas have been rejected. Sometimes he wonders if these people understand church ministry at all.
Odds are, they don't. Not that they can't. They just don't.
If Tim's board is typical, no one has ever taught them how to be leaders in the church, how to think strategically, or how to make certain key decisions that affect everyone else. That's been left for Tim and his fellow professionals to study and learn. As a result, he and his board suffer from "educational separation." With every book he reads and every seminar he attends, Tim is slowly widening the gap between the way he views the church and the way his board members do.
Early in my ministry, I faced a similar situation. The more I learned about local church ministry, the more I found myself frustrated with board members who, I felt, lacked an understanding of even the most basic ministry principles.
Not sure what to do about it, I decided to try to close the gap. I started sharing with the board some of the insights and principles I had learned in my pastoral ministry classes. We didn't neglect the standard Bible study and prayer. We simply added a new dimension, "practical theology."
Over the years, our training has covered a variety of topics: church growth, educational theory, group dynamics, management styles, counseling. We've read articles and books on the church by people such as Lyle Schaller, Gordon MacDonald, C. Peter Wagner, and Frank Tillapaugh. We've reviewed the insights of secular books like In Search of Excellence, ...