Monday, February 25, 2019

Effective Boards Spend MORE of Their Meeting Time on the FUTURE

By Warren Bird, Ph.D.

Think about your church’s last board meeting. What percent of time was spent on the future vs reviewing the present or past?

ECFA recently surveyed the nonprofit side of our membership (i.e., Christ-centered ministries like schools, pregnancy resource centers, and relief and development agencies). Here’s what we learned:

Want to increase your board’s effectiveness by 15% (as in the graph above)? Then spend more of your time in the future!

A new release by ECFA President Dan Busby and long-time associate John Pearson, Lessons From the Church Boardroom, makes the following proposal: Invest 80% of board work on future ministry opportunities, and allocate only 20% of board time on the past. Why? The authors suggest several reasons, such as enabling a board to focus more on leading indicators (ones that tell you where you’re headed) than lagging indicators (ones that summarize your past performance).1

Here are some other ECFA survey insights about nonprofit boards...

Why not review recent board minutes to assess what percentage of your valuable board is invested in looking forward? Better yet, how can you plan your next board meeting to spend MORE time focused on planning for the future?

For more great insights on church board governance, check out this recent release from ECFAPress, Lessons From the Church Boardroom, available here on Amazon. It contains a bonus chapter with a free self-assessment and helpful analysis for your board!

1Lessons From the Church Boardroom, Lesson 38, pages 204-207.

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