The art of the 24-hour board meeting
Anybody in ministry needs to understand the basics about boards – I’ve watched boards wreck ministries and I’ve made great friends through them.
There is an art to utilizing one’s board. Over the years, our board has perfected our bi-annual meeting routine. The seven of us did one this weekend in New Orleans. We fly in by 4 pm on Friday afternoon from all over the country. The rest of the day is a ministry show-and-tell time. They get to see some aspect of the ministry up close and personal. In New Orleans, we talk with Miss Evelyn and Miss Jean in their refurbished homes. We pray with them and then drive to the 9th Ward to see the devastation.
We’re in two cars. The conversation along the way is animated and personal. Our board member terms are as few as three years (if the fit isn’t good with the role), but usually go to five. These guys know me and those that have been on for a while have bonded with one another.
Dinner is usually special. Last time Jumbo put on a fabulous South African bar-b-q (called a “brai”) and this time, Elizabeth cooks up a Cajun storm: crawfish seasoned just right and mounded on the table, jambalaya, shrimp bread, and gumbo. We don’t transact any business, but we hear testimonies.
The actual meeting starts at 8:00 the next morning. After Andrew’s devotional, we pray. We begin informally as I ask them to tell me about our vision and values and then tell them a few ministry stories.
We review the finances and for three hours I brief them on the ministry’s progress and challenges. They ask questions. We make a few key decisions. Lunch is shrimp Po’ Boys and mufalatta from a nearby sandwich shop. At 1 pm we hug goodbye and are off to the airport.
The meeting doesn’t ask too much of them and gives them something in return for their commitment. It’s augmented by issue-generated teleconferences during the year.