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. Dan Bolin is our guest blogger this week for the seventh of seven lessons in "Part 11: Boards That Lead and Boards That Read.”
LESSON 40 OF 40 - A Board Prayer
“Dear God…Let me tell stories and provide statistics that represent accurately.”
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Board governance is a significant and sacred trust; therefore the spiritual integrity of the board (individually and corporately) is paramount. Pursuing godly ends is not enough—boards must embody godly means as well. Organizations that claim the name “Christian” must align both their purpose and practices with God’s design.
Boards of Christian nonprofits generally seek God’s direction for the purpose they pursue, but too often they fail to act with grace and humility in their practices. Failing to pursue godly purposes or failing to lead in God-honoring ways are equally dangerous and ultimately destructive to the soul of the institution.
MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 40, pages 202-206:
• “Help us to remember that few decisions are worth the divisions caused by dominant winning or belligerent losing.”
• “Help us to seek your glory and not ours.”
• “Grant us the joy of arriving at adjournment closer to one another because we are closer to you.”
MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
Years ago, I participated in a board meeting where the tension was so pronounced, the consultant provided all of us with adhesive strips to wear across our noses. Throughout the meeting, those strips reminded us to “breathe right.” We were inexorably reminded that the most significant challenge was not to make our point or win our argument—the real test was to express our deeply held positions with grace and truth.
Serving a Christian nonprofit, whether as a board member or as a senior leader, requires dependence upon God. Ultimately, we are stewards who serve God, our constituents, and one another. We must ask God for His wisdom, strength, courage and peace to steward well the ministry entrusted to us.
Dan Bolin is retired but continues to speak and write as the president of Refueling in Flight Ministries, a small nonprofit committed to encouraging the Christian community. Dan strives to provide hope, inspiration, and truth to those living life in this busy and demanding world. Dan led three Christian nonprofit organizations during his career. He served as the CEO of Pine Cove Christian Camps for 14 years, president of KVNE and KGLY Radio for nine years, and international director of Christian Camping International for 11 years. He has served on the boards of numerous Christian organizations and is the author of eight books, including How to Be Your Daughter's Daddy: 365 Ways to Show Her You Care, and How to Be Your Little Man's Dad: 365 Things to Do with Your Son (with Ken Sutterfield).
TO-DO TODAY:• Send a copy of “A Board Prayer” (Lesson 40) to the members of your board and ask them to read it three times before your next meeting.
• Put a star by the bullet points that your board is doing well. In your next board communication, thank them for living out those aspects of godly, board governance.
• Put a check mark by two or three bullet points where you would like to improve personally. Begin to pray for wisdom, strength and courage to change.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Bonus Blog #41!
On Aug. 29, 2018, watch for the final commentary by Dan Busby and John Pearson, including an index and links to all 40 blogs.
Subscribe to this blog by submitting your email (just above the date/day). Visit the Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom webpage and order extra copies for your board members.