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Healthy Church Boards

Three Principles to make your church board thrive.

Over the years, I've served on and worked with many dysfunctional church boards. I've noticed that in almost every instance there was a conspicuous lack of [trust].

Healthy church boards give people freedom to do things however they deem best. In matters of taste, style, or methodology, they don't butt in. They let those who have the responsibility for a ministry exercise the authority to carry them out. The Hessian mercenaries understood this principle as well as anyone. The three guiding principles in their Rules of Combat would serve any board well.

1. The mission's objective and any constraints must be made explicit by the commander (the board) in advance.

In other words, everyone has to know the rules ahead of time—both the goals and the limits of their freedom. For instance, our youth associates need to know how we're going to judge the success of their program. Will it be by attendance, the number of new Christians, the signs of spiritual growth, or the percentage of church kids ...

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