Monday, June 11, 2012

Two Prayers and a Poem Are Not Enough!

If we’re not intentional, Christ-centered governance may often look and taste like most secular governance models with one exception: you’ll drop in a prayer at the beginning and the end of the meeting; and maybe throw in a devotional thought or poem. Then…presto…it’s “Christian governance.” Not really.

Recently, I facilitated board retreats in two different states. At one retreat, a short inspirational video was played that helped board members transition from the travel hassles of arriving at the meeting…to the holy calling of being board members/stewards of the ministry. The video helped set the tone for the day.

At another retreat, a board member shared an inspirational two-page presentation that—in my opinion—will be the catalyst for a major fork-in-the-road decision about the organization’s mission and future.

In this case, the board member had clearly taken time to hear from God—to discern what God was saying to him and the board. Then he wrote his presentation (two pages, typed), rehearsed it, and with a Holy Spirit-empowered conviction and a stunning use of Scripture, inspired the board to think bigger about their kingdom calling.

At the end of the two-day retreat, as each board member shared his or her “One Big Take-Away,” many board members mentioned the devotional presentation as the highlight of the board retreat.

As I reflected on this extraordinary retreat, here’s what I observed:
1) A board member took his role seriously. He prayed and he prepared.
2) The “devotional” was specific. Why are we here? What is God calling us to be and to do? (There was no generic good-enough-for-the-board stuff off the Internet.)
3) Other board members listened—both to him and to God.

Think back over your last few board meetings. Can you remember what anyone shared or prayed about? Elton Trueblood said, “Pious shoddy is still shoddy.”

Question: How will you raise the significance of the devotional thoughts at your board meetings and retreats?

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