Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 51: Church Boards

Since this blog really is talking to pastors or pastors to be I will talk about an issue that can drive pastors crazy (church leadership take note). The issue is power-trips within the lay leadership (sometimes pd. staff). A friend of mine that is 20 years older than me and a savvy Christian business owner told me this, "Churches are allot like country clubs....people become a member and they think you own the place." This can be very taxing on a Pastor to know there are people in the church like this. Did you know the average pastor will leave a church because only 5 disgruntled people? These kind of people view church as a chess game. Some may think if I get in good with the pastor or the pastor's wife....I will be able to do and control more things. Some in places of leadership are so power hungry that if they are not kept in the loop of every detail they go crazy. This has been seen over and over again in churches. I would say that a board member who is like this and feels the need to micro-manage ministries or the church is a board member that the pastor (typically the chair of the board) needs to ask step down.

I have seen churches that repeat things over and over again. A couple of times I thought it was merely the pastor that did not want to stay or had very little freedom to function. What I soon began to discover is that it sometimes is the head board member calling the shots therefore making the pastors stay a living hell causing that person to burn out and leave. When this happens the board/church/membership is left wondering "what happened? Did we do something wrong?" I would say "YES!" Time to switch up the leadership!

I have been asked a couple times, "have you considered putting in your resume at this or that church?" Usually the ones they ask about are ones I know things about and would rather not. My days of restarting churches are over. I am here to stay at Radiant Fellowship. Typically my response to people asking me the question about applying at churches like this is "I hope that church would be ready to sell its building and move into a rental space if the building is not paid off. The reason being is that I would flush the whole board and those in leadership that have been a pain in the churches history and start over." Unfortunately this is what it would take in some churches if the place is going to grow larger or prevent shutting down.

For every board that is awful though there are ten good ones. The best thing a church can do to ensure longevity from their pastor is make it a pleasurable experience for him/her. When a church realizes that God is the head of the church and the pastor is the one he placed there...the board will take the approach of "what can we do to make this happen" instead of..."Why wasn't I involved in this decision" or "you need to run this by me before you do that." A board or board member that micro-manages thing is a board member that needs to leave.

But I digress....

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