Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Board Meeting Rules of Thumb: 2 Prayers and a Poem?

Your board might be different, but I sense that many boards that consider themselves “Christ-centered”—in fact—are not Christ-centered at all. You might call them agenda-centered.

Check the box if this is common practice in your board meetings:
[  ] 1. Opening prayer. Closing prayer. (In-between: stick to the agenda.)
[  ] 2. If there’s time, someone shares a devotional thought or a poem—but the subject matter is rarely tied to critical agenda items. (“I found this on the Internet this morning.”)
[  ] 3. A fork-in-the-road issue faces the board—but no one suggests you pause and pray.
[  ] 4. Disagreements: frequent. Lack of unity: often. Inappropriate hallway conversations: sometimes. Confession of sin: never.
[  ] 5. Spiritually discerning God’s voice: no personal experience, so no group experience.

In The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond, Bill Hybels writes, “We serve a communicating God—a God of words. [Throughout Scripture, he] created with a word, he healed with a word, he encouraged with a word, he rebuked with a word, he guided with a word, he prophesied with a word, he assured with a word, he loved with a word, he served with a word and he comforted with a word. Throughout all of history, God has communicated, and he still is at it today.
The issue isn’t whether or not God is speaking;
it’s whether we will have ears to hear what he says.”

It’s possible that your board doesn’t take the time to hear from God (to spiritually discern God’s voice and direction) because, as Hybels explains, the individuals around the table have never heard from God. A holy connection with heaven is not on anyone’s radar.

Hybels adds, “There is a God who loves you and who would gladly whisper to you words of encouragement or direction, wisdom or well-timed warning, if only you would carve out the space to hear from heaven throughout the course of your day.

“I’ve said those exact words to many people over the years and sometimes I have sensed in their response,
'Thanks, but no thanks.
I’d rather make my own judgment calls.’ 
"In my view, these people are running the risk of missing out on some of life’s God-guided adventures.

“God tends to speak to people who want to hear from him. He tends to offer divine direction to those who are willing to order their daily lives around receiving input from him.”

So…if money is tight. If unity is absent. If your ministry’s direction is lost in the fog—maybe instead of two prayers and a poem at your next board meeting, you embark on a new journey of hearing from God—and “having the guts to respond.”

Note: A participant guide and DVD (perfect for a board retreat) for The Power of a Whisper is available from Willow Creek Association.

QUESTION FOR A BOARD CANDIDATE: Tell us how you spiritually discern God’s voice in your own life—and your experience of hearing from God when you’ve served on other boards. 

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