Policy Based Governance and the Role of the Board

Members of the board look forward to talking with you at our first “Coffee with the Board” on January 22nd at 9:15am. This won’t be a meeting but rather a time for brothers and sisters in Christ to sit down over coffee and talk about our shared ministry.  We hope you can either stay after first service or come early to second service so that we can have some time together. As we prepare for this time together, the Board wanted to help give some clarity to what their specific role is within the Church.

The Church adheres to a policy-based governance model. The purpose of the Leadership Board is to develop policy, supervise the Lead Pastor, and uphold fiscal responsibility.

Policy development focuses on four categories: 1) Desired Outcomes, 2) Board Self-Governance, 3) Lead Pastor Limitations, and 4) Board and Lead Pastor Relationships.

Desired outcomes describe the ends, or purposes of our church. Desired outcomes policies describe what results we are here to achieve, who the recipients will be, and the cost of those results. These policies do not address means, methods, activities, or specific programs.

Governance process policies describe the standards of behavior for individual Board members and the Board as a group. These policies describe the way the Board operates.

Lead Pastor Limitations policies address staff means –what the Lead Pastor and staff may and may not do. They define the out-of-bounds lines. These policies communicate what behaviors, methods, and practices are acceptable and not acceptable. Unless restricted by the policies, all other reasonable actions are considered acceptable. This approach empowers the staff from needing to delay action until the Board can approve each new initiative. It also allows the Board to responsibly minimize involvement in the details of day-to-day operations. These policies are addressed to the Lead Pastor rather than the entire staff. The Lead Pastor is held accountable that all staff actions fall within the boundaries established by these policies.

Board-Lead Pastor Relationship policies address how the Board and Lead Pastor relate to each other.  In general, the Board speaks with one voice and all Board authority is delegated through the Lead Pastor. This means the Lead Pastor reports to the Board as a whole, not to individual Board members, officers of the congregation, or Board committees. This also means the Board works only with the Lead Pastor and does not direct the work of staff or volunteers.

The Leadership Board for the Church is honored to serve our ministry in this way. Members of the board include Peter Hueber, Chad Koch, Dannie Jaeger, Laura Potter, Eldon McLaury, Joan Dawson and myself. We would love to talk with you if you have questions or concerns, and look forward to our time together on January 22nd.

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