Saturday, October 12, 2013

Before We Adjourn…Any Apologies Needed?

What would be on your Top-5 list of “Distinctives of Christ-centered Governance?”

Certainly on my list would be this:
“Every board member faithfully responds
to the Holy Spirit’s nudges and never exits
a board meeting if a relationship is out of whack.”

Whenever Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church (an ECFA-accredited church) speaks, the room goes quiet.  In his book, The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond (read my review), he shares a transparent board story.

At the end of a Willow Creek elders meeting, “in typical fashion the chairman of our board led us in a quick assessment of our demeanor and participation that evening. He asked, ‘Does anybody need to make amends for anything, clarify a point or apologize for a wrongdoing of any kind?’”

Hybels raised his hand—and his credibility—by confessing a playful, but inappropriate comment made earlier to a new elder.  The elder was not offended and knew Bill was joking.

Yet this from Hybels: “I got a subtle flag in my spirit after I made that wisecrack,” he admitted, “so I want to stick with the apology and ask your forgiveness here tonight.”

That’s just one of dozens of gems that eloquently illustrate the book’s title. And for me, that would rank on my Top-5 list of what distinguishes Christ-centered governance from the let’s-just-get-this-meeting-over-with garden variety type of boards.  

The personal transparency that is a Hybels trademark has helped fuel this remarkable leader's effectiveness. As I write this blog, this weekend marks the 38th anniversary of Willow Creek Community Church and his leadership of the global kingdom impact of the church and Willow Creek Association.

QUESTION: If an outside observer evaluated your last board meeting—what would he or she describe as the defining characteristics of your governance? Would they be Christ-centered?

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