"For the first time, I think I really understand what it means to be an elder." Those were the words of the newest member of our board, at the end of our first "Annual Strategic-Planning Retreat." Some of the other board members nodded in agreement, and I felt a certain sense of triumph as a pastor.
For several weeks, I had been listening to lectures on strategic planning by leaders such as Boone Powell (CEO of Baylor Hospital), Howard Hendricks (director of the Center for Christian Leadership in Dallas), and Don Geiger (then pastor of Reinhardt Bible Church, also in Dallas). They shared the concept of working with a board to develop a vision (and the strategies to implement it) in the local church, and I began to think about the small church I serve.
On one hand, I was excited: if we could develop a team vision, rather than one I'd cooked up, there would be more commitment to it. And the process could catapult our board into a true position of leadership.
On the other ...1