Board Governance eBooks and Training Videos

Board Governance eBook
photo courtesy of flickr

eBooks are the only way to go!

No, they aren’t! I want to hold a paper book in my hands!

There seems to be a lot of passion around books.  From the first Middle Eastern codices to the printed books on Gutenberg’s movable type press, the paper book has a long and highly valued history.  Now the digital electronic age has ushered in a whole new concept in libraries.

For a guy like me who travels the world almost non-stop, eBooks could not have come later.  I almost never take a paper book with me, but I have more than fifty on my Kindle Fire, and many more available from Amazon and other sources.

Now Inc. has embraced the eBook.  All three of the books I have written on governance of faith-based organizations, values-based organizations, and churches are now available on this site in eBook format. Read more

Assessing Your Working Environment

Assessing Your Working Environment Governance Matters
photo courtesy of flickr

Have you ever had the experience of being really unhappy at work, but you just can’t quite put your finger on the reason?  Or maybe you can easily identify what is causing your frustration or unhappiness, but you are powerless to do anything about it.  Imagine what it would be like if you could identify the problems at work and did have the power to fix a bad working environment.

The Relationship Model will help you to do both.  Here’s how.

There are seven common problems that occur and reoccur in the workplace.  It will help first of all to determine whether one of these is causing your pain.  Naturally, nothing is simple and it is entirely possible that you are experiencing more than one of these problems or something quite unique.  In any case it is likely that what you are experiencing has a root in one of four areas that make up the working relationship.  The formula for a healthy relationship is Healthy Working Relationship = Structure and Process over Values. Read more

How to Select the Right Pastor: Part 2

Role of a Pastor Church Governance Relationship Model

Can you recall the last time your congregation called a pastor?  Remember the process?  Did you wish you had more information so that you could make an more informed decision?  If your situation was like many others, you had some names from the church headquarters.  Some individuals brought forward some names of pastors they knew and respected from previous congregations.  There was speculation about whether various pastors would be inclined to consider an invitation from you.  There was talk about the age of the various pastors and the size of their families.

What was lacking was real information about the specific gifts, interests, experiences and track record of the pastors you were considering.  Finally, there was an honest effort to spiritualize the entire matter.  God would see to it that your congregation would make the right choice.  After all God had already made the choice, right? Read more

How to Select the Right Pastor: Part 1

Role of a Pastor Church Governance Relationship Model

Congregations are free within the authority that God gives to select the pastor that will be most likely to meet the unique needs of a unique congregation.  In fact congregations also have the responsibility, not merely the freedom, to make a careful selection.  The notion that God calls a pastor to a specific congregation, apart from the will and action of the congregation itself, misunderstands the authority that God delegates to congregation to participate in the selection or “call” process.

Congregations in various denominations and cultures follow many different processes in making the selection of a pastor.  Sometimes the bishop makes the selection, and sometimes a bishop will make recommendations by providing a list of candidates whom the bishop thinks might be successful.  In some denominations the congregations interviews at the same time as the prospective pastor preaches a “trial sermon.”  Of course, preaching is just one of the necessary functions that the successful pastor will be required to provide.  (Prospective pastors don’t seem to be invited to make trial hospital calls or conduct trial counselling sessions.)

But just what are the competencies required of a successful pastor?  Well, that varies with the congregation and with the number of other members of the professional pastoral staff.  The more pastors the congregations have, the more specialized are the competencies required of the individual pastor. Read more

Executive Committee – Yes or No


Have you ever had the experience as a member of an Executive Committee of discussing the board meeting agenda before the meeting of the full board?  Then when the board meets, you discuss it all again with but this time with more people.  Did you ever ask what advantage there was to discussing the same things twice – and coming to the same conclusions?  Imagine designing a process like that!

The bylaws of many non-profit organizations require an Executive Committee.  It’s very common for the bylaws to authorize this committee to act on behalf of the Board of Directors between meetings of the board.  Thus it becomes a mini board, vested with the same authority as the full board but for much more of the time than the board itself.   Read more

Closed Sessions of the Board

board chair accountability governance

Question:  Recently I have begun to feel uncomfortable with the closed sessions our Board of Directors has been having.  Our Board Chair has now suggested that we have a closed session at every meeting without the CEO or any staff present.  The Board agreed to go along with the Chair, but I don’t think I’m the only one that doesn’t really like it.  What do you think of closed sessions?  Are they right? Read more