33. Evaluating A Church Board Member

Again, you are building a culture of evaluation that focuses upon good process and good results. After a year or two of these exercises, it would be timely then to bring forward another discussion brief, this time related to individual board member evaluation.

In order to develop such an evaluation, however, you would need to have in place several items:

1. a clear description of the role and responsibilities of a church board member. It is only fair that a board member knows what the expectations and standards are for his or her effective work as a board member.

2. a deep trust within the board that evaluation will be done fairly and without prejudice. In other words, the evaluation process cannot be seen as a means to “get rid of” a board member who is challenging the opinions of other board members. No one can be exempt from the evaluation, including the chair.

3. a set of guidelines that outlines how the evaluation will be done, by whom, how the results will be reported and to whom. The timing of the evaluation is always an important question. Consider the following ideas:

a. an adhoc sub-committee of the board should do the evaluation. It could have two trusted members. The members of the committee for their part would be evaluated by the chair and lead pastor;

b. a summary report (perhaps 150 words) should be developed for each board member and shared with the whole board.  The summary should include commendation and, as necessary, areas for development. Each board member should have opportunity to review the committee’s summary report before it is presented to the board, to make sure it is accurate and the board member knows what is being reported;

c. with each summary report there should also be one or two goals for each board member to be pursuing in the ensuing year to develop greater effectiveness.

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