November 17, 2020 Tony Morgan

Church Boards Do Not Have to Be Dysfunctional

A few years back, I read High-Impact Church Boards: How to Develop Healthy, Intentional, and Empowered Church Leaders by T.J. Addington.

Church leadership boards need to read that book together.

I had a chance to catch up with T.J. to go a little deeper. Here’s my interview with him:

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“What worked at a prior stage in your church life may not work well now, so don’t be afraid to acknowledge needed changes. Healthy boards do not protect the status quo if there is a better practice.”

“I would argue that two defining characteristics of church cultures are bureaucracy and control. These are often fueled by a third characteristic: mistrust.”

“Even knowing the frailties of men and women — that ministry would be done imperfectly and sometimes poorly — Jesus trusted them, empowered by His Spirit, to represent Him well, to build the church, and to reach a broken world with the gospel. This is not a picture of control but of empowerment. If Jesus was willing to risk giving His ministry away, we must be willing to risk along with Him.”

“A core distinction between the roles of a church’s staff and its board is that day-to-day management falls to staff members or key volunteers, while governance — the establishment of policy and direction — falls to the church board.”

“A church does not only grow numerically, it changes — causing an ongoing need for governance systems to reflect its current size.”

“What you never find in the New Testament are competing boards or groups that exist to balance power or check leadership.”

With an aligned team and board, it’s much easier to lead your team to thrive in this new normal. But with the overwhelming amount of opinions, decisions and uncertainty, a lot of pastors are telling us they feel ill-equipped to lead in this season.

For the last 10 years, we’ve been providing pastors with an ally—coaching them as they lead churches towards a new vision for the future, with the ultimate goal of continually reaching new people and helping them take next steps towards Christ. And we’d love to partner with you as you navigate your next steps.

Too often ministry leaders find themselves without that kind of support in their corner. We want to be your ally—help you see what you can’t see, build new muscles and become a better leader to lead more people to Jesus. 

Get a coach today.

We often find through our work that the governance of a church becomes a barrier to health—

and ultimately one of the key reasons why churches get stuck.

In times like these, a dysfunctional or broken governance model creates additional layers of complexity around clarifying mission/vision, decision-making, and leading change.

So, how should churches be governed biblically and effectively?

Join us on Thursday, December 17 at 1pm EST for a practical conversation to clarify the essential roles of the board and the staff team, and to help you position your church for healthy growth under aligned leadership.

Register to Join Us Today!

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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