Equipping Elders for Effective Board Leadership

By: Brian Derksen, Assistant District Superintendent - Pastoral Wellness and Church Health | May 14, 2018

As the room began to fill up, I was so encouraged by the 113 men and women called by God to serve His Bride in leadership. The buzz and anticipation were palpable and the room began to come alive with energy.

We began with the Word of God and Paul’s challenge to the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20:28. We paused and reflected on these truths…

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”

“Captivating, dynamic thought-provoking instruction on the workings of a successful church in this day and age. We reviewed the tools necessary for a clear-cut organized approach for effective MINISTRY for our LORD and in HIS work.”
Rick Pearson, Elder at Westwood Alliance Church

When the foundation was built, we jumped into 6 key categories for effective Board Leadership:

  • Accountability & Responsibility
  • Effective Governance by Church Size
  • Ends Over Means
  • Alliance Governance Distinctives
  • Roles
  • Tools

We enjoyed good interaction and discussion around these topics and every once in a while, there was an “Ah-ha” moment at one of the tables.

I found that the elder training session was most valuable and very helpful in terms of defining what “effective governance” is and its relationship with respect to the influence of “church size” and the “type of Board” needed in a church.

One interesting point made was the role & responsibility of elders serving on a “Policy Governance” board and their primary focus on the “ENDS” and the delegation of the “MEANS”. In other words, the board should be asking END questions like “why are we here” and what is our purpose”, while MEAN questions being asked by the Senior Pastor and staff should be “how will we get this done” and “what are the methods & practices we should use to accomplish the ENDS”.

Definitely would recommend that all those in positions of leadership within their church should undertake this particular training offered by the CPD.
Larry Savage, Elder at Westwood Alliance Church

In the past two years, we have presented this Board Leadership module to at least 75% of our church leaders (lead pastors and elders) in our district and we continue to create opportunities to meet with Boards individually or as groups to review the content. If you would like more information on this for your Board, please don’t hesitate to contact the District Office and we will set up a time to work through this together.

Spirit-filled healthy leaders lead Spirit-filled healthy churches!!