encourage the exploration of scripture
It’s past time to close the loop on this blog topic. So let’s recap. Having the healthiest and most effective board size begins with two board imperatives:
Blog #1 - Clarify the board’s purpose
Blog #2 - Recognize that group wisdom decreases with every member over eight
Once you’ve addressed these, take an honest look at the ministry of your church. Do you have enough leaders in positions of strategic importance doing direct, people-to-people ministry? There is a good chance that..
You need to release board members to lead elsewhere.
Three thoughts. First is simply a hard look at the numbers. Particularly with smaller churches, each leader on the church board represents a meaningful percentage of the overall number of leaders of your church.
At one of my former churches we decided to eliminate the volunteer small group coaching layer and encourage those former coaches to get back into group leadership, increasing the potential leader pool by 20%. Our staff then invested in the direct coaching of all our group leaders as, strategically, our goal was to create more effective group leaders, NOT more effective group coaches. Reflection #1: What is the most strategically effective leadership role in your church? Is it really board membership?
Second, it’s likely that the type of leader you might want to have on your board is also skilled in other areas of people ministry. Many churches struggle with developing leaders but have 10, 12, or more people serving on the board.
Third, how many of your board/vestry members actually have time to participate in the very ministries which they lead from the top of the organization. A helpful ice-breaking exercise at your next board meeting would be to ask everyone to share their typical weekly engagement in the life and programs of the church. Board leadership should be in addition to participation in the basic ministries of your church. Reflection #2: What ARE the basic ministries of your church - those that, on a weekly basis, you expect every active member to participate in?
OK, that’s it on that topic of board/vestry size. If you need any organizational help with your church check out our workshops or contact us about consulting.