How can you ensure a fruitful relationship between church staff and the elders/deacons?

Neither boards nor staffs are inanimate objects; they are people, with needs, insecurities, and gifts. It is important for staff and board members to know each other as individuals. As pastor, I meet individually with all board members for a get-acquainted (or re-acquainted) session before they serve. By discussing our personal journeys, we begin to build a bond.

Additionally, we as a staff engage the board in the following ways:

  • In our board meetings, staff members who are in "low profile" ministries talk about their ministry to the board. We try to do this right after they have come off a major success.
  • Each year during the budgeting process, all staff members share their vision for ministry with the Finance Team. This is an opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges of each ministry before they ever address the dollar issues. This was originally intended to be a one-year exercise. However, at the request of the Finance Team, we now follow this pattern every year, even though it extends the budgeting process by ten to twelve hours. As a result of these meetings, we find the Finance Team connects with the passion of the staff and become their advocates.
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