A church is only as successful as the board that oversees it. Effective church boards are made up of people who have a passion for the organization and its mission.
Governing boards strengthen the organization through intentional strategic focus and diligent financial oversight. This requires a commitment to challenging the status quo in its pursuit of continual improvement, growth and development.
Board members are legally responsible for the oversight of the organization as it pursues its mission. This is done by providing strategic direction and financial management of the organizations resources.
7 Things Effective Church Boards Do Well
1. Clarify Direction
A church board helps to clarify direction and purpose by defining why the organization exists and what it hopes to achieve. This is done through the development of a mission, vision and values statement that steers all decision making.
Effective boards have a strategy and plan for achieving the mission. This is done through the development of a strategic plan and annual church goals that support the mission and vision of the organization. This planning process factors in accountability for achieving strategic results.
The board challenges leadership and holds the organization accountable by studying board reports and asking clarifying questions. They keep a pulse on the organization by challenging things that don’t line up with mission and strategy.
Good stewardship of church resources is an important board responsibility. This involves creating an annual church budget and holding leadership accountable for adhering to the budget. An annual audit of financial reports and accounting practices should be done and members and donors should receive an annual report showing income, expenses and a financial statement.
The board should assess the organization’s performance at least every two years. This is done by appraising the organization’s leadership and their ability to achieve strategy through accomplishing organizational goals. This assessment should also look for ways to improve church programs and operations.
6. Maintain Integrity
Every organization should operate with the highest of ethical standards and behavior but the church should be held to the highest standard. A church board should hold themselves accountable for maintaining integrity and high ethical standards for the organization.
This includes having a conflict-of-interest statement that all leadership adheres to and ensuring that all decisions are made with the organization’s best interest in mind. Conducting church related business with family, friends or church members should only be done through conflict-of-interest guidelines by providing multi-bid comparisons and justifying any decisions through documentation for church records.
7. Support Leadership
Effect boards support the leadership of the church by helping them do their job. This is done by assisting to remove obstacles that hinder organizational progress and ensuring the necessary resources are available to support the mission.
Church board governance is the backbone and driving force of effective church management, development and growth. Taking the time to train and develop the governing board is one way to help equip them for this important responsibility.
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