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The Second-Best Defense

He who cannot obey, cannot command.
Benjamin Franklin

If the church itself is not healthy, the place to start is by building a healthy board. Cohesiveness among the spiritual leaders of the congregation is a healthy core for healing the rest of the body and for fighting the infectious attitudes that spring up from time to time.

Some pastors go too far and "stack" the board with friends who can be trusted never to disagree.

"Every member of my board is someone I've personally led to Christ, and I've never had trouble with them," boasted one prominent Southern pastor to a group of seminarians. "I held one man in my arms as he went through delirium tremens. Now he's on my board, and I can count on his vote. He owes me."

Such crass political maneuvering is not only repugnant but, in the long run, runs against the pastor's best interest. The best board is not one where everyone plays follow-the-leader. A board that always votes unanimously the pastor's way will only be as strong as the pastor's ...

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May/June
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