Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The 6 D's: Doer

How do you know if the board prospect you're interviewing has high moral character and will enhance the spiritual maturity of your board? That's the question behind one of the “6 D's” criteria from the ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 1: Recruiting Board Members

No. 5: Doer
Walks the Talk!  Reference checks affirm a God-honoring lifestyle and character. Humble, prayerful, high integrity in all relationships. Affirms our statement of faith. 

James 1:22 (KJV) reads, “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only.”  That's the heart of this fifth criteria when discerning which candidates should be invited to join your board.

The Message (verses 22-24) makes this “doer” mandate even more practical: “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.”

So how do you discern after one or two interviews if a board candidate walks the talk? 
  • Check references religiously.
  • Talk to the board prospect's pastor.
  • If she is in a small group, ask for permission to call a group member.
  • Speak to several close friends of the candidate.
  • And, in some cases (with permission). talk to his employer or employees.
Sure—it's hard work.  No one said board work is easy. But you expect your CEO to check references of future employees, so why do less for board candidates?  Board members, before God, are stewards of the entire ministry. 
Your decisions 
will have Kingdom impact.

When you do find a sterling candidate who walks the talk and honors God in every area of his or her life, you will be adding maturity and wisdom to your board. Doers of the Word add value!

QUESTION: Do you have a written pathway to the board that includes reference-checking? What questions do you ask others about a prospective board member?

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