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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

LESSON 9: Serve with Humility and Experience God’s Presence

Welcome to Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Reid Lehman is our guest blogger this week for the second of three lessons in "Part 3: Nominees for the Board Member Hall of Fame.”

LESSON 9 OF 40 - Serve with Humility and Experience God’s Presence
One board chair creates a holy moment for his CEO Search Committee.

 In Lesson 9, we’re reminded of the critical importance of humility, both as a follower of Jesus Christ and in board and CEO leadership.  

Read how an applicant for a rescue mission CEO position focused on humility in his job application, when most applicants would have focused on building their brand. A top book that new CEO asked his staff team to read was Humility, by Andrew Murray.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 9, pages 44-47: 
 Humility, by Andrew Murray, is a dangerous book and an important one. God is constantly seeking for the humble who will surrender their will and life to him.   
• The search committee used spiritual discernment over ordinary decision-making in selecting their new CEO and one member said a year later, “I will go to my grave remembering that holy moment as one of the top spiritual experiences of my life.”
• General Norman Schwarzkopf: “Leaders need two things—character and strategy.  If you can do only one, drop strategy.” 

This chapter inspired me to read Murray’s book. It’s powerful!  
   • Humility before people is the only real proof that our humility before God is more than just a figment of our imagination.  
   • The energy behind all spiritual growth . . . comes from a conviction that all we have comes from God.  
   • Let’s look at difficult people as God’s instrument for our purification.
   • The humility that brings a man or a woman to the point of being nothing before God at the same time removes every obstacle to faith.

Board leadership is a “group sport.” If we believe that God imparts wisdom by his spirit in a multitude of counselors, then we’ll come to board meetings more intent on hearing God’s voice in the group—than on pushing our point of view.   

My most fulfilling board meetings (both while serving as a board member and as a CEO) have come when no one pushed his/her agenda. All of us humbly sought God’s opinion, and His voice was made clear as those present shared what they heard from Him. When your board knows it has heard God’s voice, board members will have joy and confidence in the decision.  


Reid Lehman has served for more than 30 years as the CEO of Miracle Hill Ministries, a comprehensive ministry of rescue missions, addiction recovery centers, children’s homes, and foster care families caring for more than 650 children, women and men in South Carolina.  A Policy Governance® trainer/facilitator, Reid chairs the governance committee of the Together SC board, and serves as a governance coach with the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, training boards of rescue missions across the country.  He is the author of two books: God Wears His Own Watch and Are Those the Words You Meant to Use? His favorite books include, Pursuing God’s Will Together, by Ruth Haley Barton, and Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster.  

• Download Humility, by Andrew Murray (only 59 pages long, it’s in the public domain). Consider reading it in your devotions this week.  
• Answer the question, “How would you approach your board discussions and your board or CEO role differently if you were practicing true humility and listening for God’s voice?”


On Jan. 24, 2018, watch for Jeff Lilley's commentary on Lesson 10, "Prioritize Prayer Over Problems: Create space for prayer--serious supplications for a serious work."

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