232. Resources for Developing New Church Board Members.

In blog articles 230-231 I have offered some suggestions regarding development and training of new church board members. I conclude this mini-series with several ideas for resources you might find useful, both for yourself, if you are developing such a training process, as well as for those participating in it.

General introductions to the role of a board member in the context of non-profit charities would include: (the publications by Kranendonk and Pellowe focus particularly upon Christian non-profits)

Dick Kranendonk. Serving as a Board Member. Protecting Yourself from Legal Liability While Serving Charities. Belleville, Ont.: Essence Publishing, 2002. (186 pages)

John Carver and Miriam Mayhew Carver. Your Roles and Responsibilities as a Board Member. Carver Guide. San Francisco, Cal.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996. (17 pages)

Jim Brown. The Imperfect Board Member. Discovering the Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence. San Francisco, Cal.: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. (200 pages)

Richard T. Ingram. Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards. Governance Series 1. Boardsource, 2002. (52 pages)

Berit Lakey. Board Fundamentals. Understanding the Roles in Nonprofit Governance. Second edition. Boardsource, 2010. (83 pages)

John Pellowe. Serving As a Board Member. Canadian Council of Christian Charities, 2012. (200 pages).

Specific focus upon church board work and the special dynamics which the Christian context bring to the ministry of board members.

Dan Hotchkiss. Governance and Ministry. Rethinking Board Leadership. Herndon, Virginia: The Alban Institute, 2009. (250 pages)

Larry Perkins. Best Practices for Church Boards. Personal Edition (DVD). Northwest Baptist Seminary, Langley, B.C. (If you desire a copy, please email me at perkins@twu.ca.)

T. J. Addington. High Impact Church Boards. Oakdale, MN.: Sandbox Resources, 2006. (217 pages).

The relationship between board work, congregational leadership, and Christian leadership in general might be introduced using the following resources:

Larry Osborne. Sticky Teams. Grand Rapids. MI.: Zondervans, 2010, (222 pages)

Max de Pree. Called to Serve. Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans, 2001. (91 pages)

Perhaps I should offer a brief word of explanation as to why I have not included any publications on the role of elders or deacons. In my view the biblical roles described as “elder” or “deacon” (primarily in the Pastoral Epistles, with some references in 1 Peter and Acts), are terms used to describe Christian leaders who fulfilled a wide variety of roles and responsibilities within the new house churches established in the first century. It is probably the case that in most congregations today those who become board members are also designated either as an elder or a deacon. However, it is not necessary for every elder or deacon to serve as a board member, because these roles can carry responsibilities that are not “board” responsibilities. In such cases these non-board elders and deacons will be responsible ultimately to the lead pastor for the fulfillment of their ministry roles within the congregation.

I think it is a more helpful approach to provide training for those who are interested in serving as board members,whether within the congregation or to assist non-profit charities within the surrounding community. Of course if your congregational bylaws require board members to be elders and/or deacons, then some discussion about the relationship between these roles and that of a board member will be helpful. However, many of the competencies that apply to church boards, also apply to other non-profit board work. If this training is presented as an opportunity to equip a person to serve as a non-profit board-member, then this training can be conceived on a broader scale than just the three to five people in the congregation who might have the desire and giftedness to serve the congregation as part of the church board in the future.

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