Board members volunteer their time, talent, and treasure for the sake of your ministry. They are often well-intentioned, but they are not always well-equipped. Fortunately, there are ways you can help your board members become more effective in their roles and therefore better at providing both oversight and insight for your church.
The role of a board member comes with significant responsibilities. Board members must exercise the duty of care and the duty of loyalty, meaning they must act in the best interests of the organization and set aside any personal opinions or agendas. They are held to the standard of doing what a reasonable person would do in the same situation.
At the same time, board members may wear several “hats” within the church. They might put on the volunteer “hat,” for example, when they lead a small group or help with the parking ministry. They may wear the parent “hat” when considering the impact of a ministry decision on their children in the nursery or the high school youth group. The donor “hat” is worn when they determine how they will tithe and what additional ministries or church needs they will support.
However, it is imperative that board members not put on the wrong “hat” when they act on behalf of the church, and that their role as board members is clear to them and to those with whom they speak. When wearing a board “hat,” someone speaks as a voice of the whole board and acts only as directed by the board.