A few months ago a reader of www.churchboardchair.ca dropped me a note and suggested that in one of my blog articles I direct people to some helpful articles for new church board chairs. I thought it was a great suggestion. So I am following up in this blog with some ideas for you to pursue. Most of them are accessible on the internet. However, Carver’s publication would need to be purchased through Amazon.com, for example. On this website you will also find about a dozen review articles of various book-length publications which provide much helpful guidance for church board chairs. In order to ensure that at least one of these resources looks at the role of the church board chair from a Christian standpoint I have include my perspective entitled “Seven Habits of Effective Church Boards.” I might modestly suggest, however, that the whole point of www.churchboardchair.ca is specifically to provide such resources to church board chairs, so I trust you will also explore the website and use the resources it contains.
As you evaluate these resources make sure you process them through the grid of biblical values which your congregation holds. If the ideas promote and sustain the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love within the boardroom and advance the mission of the organization more effectively, then probably you will be on safe ground if you adopt them.
Experimentation can be a creative way to try some new processes or approaches. Establish a time frame (i.e. a sunset clause) for new processes and then evaluate at the end of the period. If the consensus is that the new ideas are effective, then continue to use them. If not, discard and try something else. Be flexible, but discerning in your approach.
1. John Carver. Carver Guide No. 4. The Chairperson’s Role as the Servant Leader to the Board. San Francisco, Cal: Jossey-Bass, 1997.
2. New Approaches to Board Effectiveness. January 2010 issue of Trustee magazine, vol. 63, no. 1. http://www.wittkieffer.com/file/thought-leadership/main/2010.01Trustee%20Workbook.pdf
3. Board Chair and Board Member Best Practice Packet. Kellogg Community College. http://www.nonprofitalliance.org/system/res/25/original/Board_Member_Packet.pdf
4. Elisabeth Walton, Ph.D. Chairmanship: The Effective Chair-CEO Relationship: Insight from the Boardroom. The Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance
at the Yale School of Management. February 2011. http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/corpgov/2011/03/17/the-effective-chair-ceo-relationship-insights-from-the-boardroom/
5. What Makes an Exceptional Chairman? Required Qualities for Challenging Times. A Research Report by Alvarez & Marsal, 2012. http://www.alvarezandmarsal.com/what-makes-exceptional-chairman
6. The Board Chair Question and Answer Guide. Brody, Weiser, Burns, Chicago, 2002. http://www.brodyweiser.com/pdf/boardchair.pdf
7. Larry Perkins, Ph.D. Seven Habits of Effective Church Boards. May 2013. www.churchboardchair.ca/175-seven–habits-of-effective–church–boards-.