Christian Organizations
By: R karman
Oct-08

Leadership for the Christian Organization:

 Prologue

Not many board members of Christian organizations can define the role of the chairman of the board. Many can recite what is in the bylaws: set agenda, call meetings, appoint committees, break ties, preside over meetings, etc. but that's not what I mean. In many smaller organizations the chairman has the title of Chief executive; has the job description of middle management; and actually does the work of the printing department, administrative assistant, copywriter, mailroom, parliamentarian, Public Relations, bookkeeper, complaints handler, and janitor.

My intent is to share some observations of leadership from the CEO, middle management and laborer viewpoint. I hope that SOME or ALL of these will help you in your role of leadership in your Christian organization.

As you read this the purpose may seem multifaceted, but I would like to have you focus on 2 things: the way that you do things and the way that you'd like things to get done. Here are some questions to  write on a scratch pad and look at periodically while you're reading.

If you have been in leadership less than two years how did you get there?

If you've been in leadership for more than 3 years why are you still there?

Is your organization run like a business?

Is your organization a ministry?

If money were no object but a complete and detailed ACTION Plan were, what would your board get accomplished?

Considering the board members on the current board, are there talents and abilities that are not being used to their maximum potential?

  The Board

Homeschool organization’s BOARD OF DIRECTORS tend to do a lot more than direct.

In fact many times they should be called a board of co-laborers.  This isn't necessarily wrong. A working board is a busy board. And with only a few exceptions most home school organizations have a working board. Without the labor and dedication of board families many of the events, publications, and supporting functions would not take place.

To some, it is difficult to clearly set the line between director and laborer. I've heard board members say "what difference does it make? The work needs to get done if there's going to be anything to direct.” In the larger picture it makes a great deal of difference. And in the longevity of your organization it can make a significant difference.

To liken the role of board member to the first time homeschooler: The first time homeschooler begins for an assortment of reasons. Some of those may include negatives (I don't want that to happen again), or positives (I like the way their son turned out), but for better or worse, they become home educating parents. Eventually the spiritual and eternal benefits become the focus of their efforts and the role of home educator takes on a much more powerful meaning.

Likewise first time board member may come on the board to be a co-laborer. It might be for negative reasons (I can certainly run the potluck better than that), or positive reasons (I have been asked to be a mentor to other couples), but for better or worse the label of board member has been bestowed in the interest of getting work done. And eventually, through God’s grace, the true meaning of "director" becomes apparent and the role takes on a much more powerful meaning.

It is clear that some readers will not have encountered that “more significant” reason for a board. Some are still quite confident that the reason they are on the board is to run the used curriculum sale, or to mail the newsletter or to answer the E-mail. And thus they may very well believe that the task of board member is a "doer."  They may even take a dim view of board members or boards of other organizations that seem to leave all the "work" for others.

I ask for your patience.  I know that you are a servant and leader just from the fact that you're taking time to read this. Consider some of these things and God may use them in your life, just as He uses wisdom and experience to change the mindset of an academic home educator to a spiritual discipler.

The Size of your Organization

Don’t measure the size of the organization by the budget, or the landmass, or the membership roles. Measure it by the board of directors. How they have crafted the organization and how they have prepared for the future.

Some of you lead with only members of your family doing the serving. A distinguishing title for this is “a family ministry.” You may have an advisory board or you may have others that consider themselves in leadership, but if you just have members of your own family serving it is a family ministry. While the family is growing and developing so is the ministry. In those early years it becomes all encompassing. Both the family and the organization benefit from the growth.

Dorothy and I formed the state organization in Oregon as a family ministry in 1986. We recognized a list of needs and developed ways to meet those needs. For almost a decade we came up with the personal investment of time, energy and money to serve the homeschool families (by serving local support group leaders) in our state.

From the beginning or in a transition from a family ministry many organizations become a small group of close friends serving together. This “small group ministry” is made up of people that you have personally selected by friendship or church ties to share in the labor of love to others.

This is the way that a curriculum fair grew into a state organization in Oregon. The determining factor is the small intimate group of friends helping each other in a ministry of service. The ministry grows as the group of friends grows, but also suffers when other priorities take some of the workers away.

In this context you don’t need parliamentarians, audits, and financial forecasts – you don’t need a board meeting when everyone is gathered around your kitchen table dividing up the lists of labors. You don’t need policies when forgiveness is the prevalent way to handle shortcomings.

The next category’s distinctive is HOW, not who. That’s how the board members are chosen or the selection method of leadership.  This makes a noticeable change in the structure as well as the function of the board. A family ministry or even a small group ministry does not need selection criteria, impeachment rules, and policies. A board-directed service organization does require these things.

In Oregon, and maybe in other states this change occurred under duress. Our family ministry was under attack from a group who called themselves Christian – but instead of wanting to help, they wanted to criticize some of the Biblical principles on which we operated and wanted to take over the pretty much established ministry. The change to a board driven organization was not untested ground for us. Dorothy and I already had taken a small local support group and moved it towards incorporation, built it up with a $8,000 annual operating budget (in 1990 dollars), and then turned it over to a local board of directors.

After many sleepless nights and on the Lord knows how many wordless prayers we made a decision not to deny the efficacy of a family ministry, but rather to look to God’s word and develop a board-driven organization. This could have just turned into a small service ministry of friends, but we wanted to make it more than that. We wanted to see what God might have planned beyond our sight. God brought people that we had never really known to form a board and to help form the new corporation. This was a step out on faith- Faith is the substance of things hope for the evidence of things not seen as defined in Hebrews 11. With not too much blood-letting we changed from a sole-proprietorship to a corporation. I’ll talk a little bit about that process of faith when we talk about board development.

How a Board Changes

Boards change. Even small group ministries change. Organizations change. Goals, objectives, resources change. The following steps may seem familiar to many home school organizational boards. (I’ve experienced many of these, but not all in the same organization.)

1.      We came together as co-laborers for a cause - a very important cause.
This new idea of homeschooling needed to be supported. It was God’s way to raise a family and it needed laborers to till the ground and to sow the seeds.

2.      We worked together and grew together. It was obvious that people were being blessed and that God's grace was carrying us through. Other organizations across the country were doing the same things as we were and thus we all felt we were doing it right. We found ourselves working so closely with each other and building friendships that we often thought of as being closer than the ones at church, or even in the extended family. We raised our children together, becoming grandparents in the same season of our life

3.      In time we are able to  step back and we see that lines of labor had been drawn, more by willingness and ability than decision or decree. Some of these lines or self-appointed tasks formed before the growth and closeness grew, but yet they indelibly endure.
It was during this time that a few board members started to “define the organization” by their actions, dreams and anticipations. It was also during this time that some families become very identified with their task. (“They head up the sweetheart's banquet and fundraiser every year. . .” )
Some of these identities became so indelible that other board members avoided asking the "sweetheart organizers" to do anything else, lest they are unwilling to do the banquet next year. These labors of love, be it the fund raiser or the meeting greeters or the newsletter editor, are all valuable to the organization.
Regrettably, this is the point where certain people on the board who have not migrated to a specific job appear to be superfluous.

4.      The next step, either consciously or subconsciously, was stratification. In confidence some were happy to be laborers, some were just happy to have the label as board member, some moved into a place we called middle management (managing a specific event or focus of the group), and others, not all of the board, moves to a place of primary spokesman for the organization.
This was a time to beware because feelings can be hurt and families can leave the board as a result of  stratification.
This was also the time for rapid growth. The right people took on the right tasks and the board accelerated plans, activities and outreach. Actually getting more accomplished than it did before.
It must be remembered that in rare occasions the vocal majority of the board does not agree with the stratification and the board reverts to the level of just working together, and loses the potential for growth.
Stratification is a natural thing - it is a healthy thing for an organization. It often times draws criticism from those who perceive that it is done from approbation lust, or to minimize the role of some on the board. That is more often observed by a third party and not the actual parties involved.

5.      If the board reaches this level, the board aligns with a common goal and purpose. It may be the same goal that it had from day one or a new and more specific goal. The alignment often causes the board and the organization to accomplish more and grow in new directions.
When board members are working together and acknowledging God's plan for the body of Christ, we know that we are not all eye, that we are not all feet, that we are not all ears. (1 Corinthians 12:14 and following). What that means is that all members are doing the jobs that GOD has set out for them in the organization. 

Organizations that I have worked with have been tempted to stop there. Everyone has a job. Everyone is happy. Everyone is fulfilled. As long as everyone is healthy, in God’s will, and doesn’t grow up, move away, have an aging parent hospitalized, get transferred, lose his job, or have a baby, the organization does quite well. This level of satisfaction with the division of labor only remains balanced until some member or volunteer has to leave his/her assignment. It is usually the time when all of the work is divided and no one feels that they can take on any more, that a vacancy, planned or unplanned, sometimes causes a snowball effect that brings the organization to the brink of collapse.

If everyone is content with a stratified board aligned toward a goal and purpose, then the only way most people attempt to solve the problem of further growth is to bring another couple on the board. This doesn’t work indefinitely. Just by shear numbers alone this can only work once or twice before the board is too big to work together.

What’s the Answer of Growth?

A board that limits the work of the organization by the number of members on the board can be limiting God's design for accomplishment. We all come on a board with talents that God has given us. Like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14, what we do with those talents will tell the story. Letting the talents grow is God’s plan. Burying them and waiting for His return is not God’s plan. Those who are dedicated laborers use their years of experience to train families to come alongside. The original laborers become managers and the “fundraiser” or the “convention” grow as a result of good management, and sharing the blessing of laboring side-by-side. Some managers eventually become directors, and a board made up of directors can view the potential of the organization from a completely different perspective. 

When an organization is satisfied with given working assignments, they often times become focused  on the tasks (each family to their own tasks) and take their minds and hearts off of the long-term vision, or corporate goal of growth. Organizations that have overcome this have overcome it as a board. They have entered into a planning and evaluation stage that places one group of people in director’s roles- their responsibility is to do all that is necessary for the good of the organization.  Ideally they deny their own agendas and consider first and foremost the overall goals and betterment of the organization.

It is uncommonly difficult for someone who has their heart invested in a fund-raising dinner to take off their fund-raising manager’s hat and put on their Board director’s hat. To honestly think not as the Heart of the fund-raiser, but as a director who has to be responsible for the whole organization, not just the fund-raiser. Similarly, as a parent we have to leave our parent hat at home when we go to a board meeting. We can consider what our family would like to do, but the real decision is “what is best for the organization?”

A Board of Directors

When I have explained this to others the question (spoken or unspoken) is what is the difference between a group of workers and a board of directors?

A group of workers generally hold each other tentatively responsible for the task that they have taken on. Each family limits its losses to the job or jobs that it feels responsible for. Usually this becomes a touchy subject when work is not done on time or to the quality standards of some members of the group.  One board member tells the story that the X family never accomplishes the jobs that they volunteer for and then just says “we’ll have to leave it to Grace.”  She made light of it by saying “we don’t even have someone named Grace on the board.” I think we’ve all been in this position at one time or another.

On the contrary this is how a board is broadly defined in the world (from Businessdictionary.com) A governing body (called the board) of an incorporated firm. . . The board has the ultimate decision-making authority and, in general, is empowered to (1) set the company's policy, objectives, and overall direction, (2) adopt bylaws, (3) name members of the advisory, executive, finance, and other committees, (4) hire, monitor, evaluate, and fire the managing director and senior executives [and volunteers], . . .

Though all its members might not be engaged in the company's day-to-day operations, the entire board is held liable (under the doctrine of collective responsibility) for the consequences of the firm's policies, actions, and failures to act.

Members of the board usually include senior-most executives (called 'inside directors' or 'executive directors' [or prior managers]) as well as experts or respected persons chosen from the wider community (called 'outside directors' or 'non-executive directors' [or advisors]).

In my workshops this is when I see board members from most homeschool organizations mentally composing their letters of resignation. This is where the division usually takes place. Those who have the talents to work on a given project and take responsibility for that project often are more than willing to be in a management role. Those who are “senior statesmen” and have wise advice, institutional memory and guidance are willing to accept the position of board advisor or board member emeritus. And those willing to make plans, stretch for new heights, push the envelope and “dream dreams” will take the positions of directors. 

At the more pragmatic level the division of the leadership also gives a better way to fill the unforeseen gap in the lines of labor. The directors are responsible to fill those vacancies but not to add more families to the board. The directors also have the responsibility to budget equitably for what is good for the organization. The goals and the direction of the organization become separate from who’s handling the vender hall? Or  why don’t we have writers for the newsletter? 

Some folks openly admit that they don’t want to get to that point of division. They admit that they are  afraid of change and of the unknown entities of other families on the board. They question the need for growth. They don’t want to have someone who is not in the “trenches” making decision for their family. Sometimes the years of stratified roles are looked back on as the “good old times” when we didn’t need system to run the organization, we just got together and did it. But examining organizations that have been successful in serving the Lord by serving others, they didn’t linger at this way point, but rather planned to approach it, mark its passing and keep moving forward.

God wants us to do things in an orderly way. God desires to see His will done in all things. And God desires His kingdom to grow. What is the normal response to this statement? Whoa! You’re talking about a church. Our organization is not a church! Turning the hearts of families to God and to discipling the next generation of Christian leadership, in our families, in our churches, in our nation is God’s plan. It is causing God’s kingdom to grow. The painful truth of the matter is, your organization may be the only source of information and motivation that families have in this area. George Barna has told us that many churches are not causing that to happen. That may be the need for the organization that God has caused to grow up to grow more.

Does this mean that the board has to be separated from the managers, and from the laborers? No. many board members volunteer their time to tasks of the organization, but do so apart from their role as directors. They have to take off their board director hat and put on their middle manager hat, or even their volunteer laborer hat. It may seem silly, but the decisions that are made when you’re working for the convention have to be the right ones for the moment to keep the convention and several thousand people moving. Later when the board meets everyone has to be brutally honest and determine whether it was the right decision for the organization. There may be no way to take it back, but this is an opportunity to insure the board doesn’t make the same mistake again.

Thus far I hope I have caused those who are new to leadership to consider or reconsider why and how they got into leadership. I also trust that I have given those who have been in leadership for a short time  (5 to 10 years) something to ponder. Now- I'd like to share a portion of my approach to the chairmen or long-term goal setters.

The Role of the Chairman

Think back to the job description that I asked you about on page one - How many of you can define the role of the chairman of the board? Let me suggest a definition of the chairman that frames all of his or her other duties. The Chairman is to establish the vision, define the goal, support the board.

Does this sound like the chairman of your board? Has this already been defined in you organization? Is it clear that the chairman is the goal setter? Or is he busy herding cats, putting out fires, looking for volunteers and occasionally wondering if anyone really cares?

I think anyone in leadership has, if not heard, at least felt the answer to the question, “what is our goal?”  To a tired mother still trying to homeschool while playing a major servant’s role in the organization, the answer may be to “live through this conference.” To the person in charge of publications while dealing with the increase in prices and the decrease of those willing to write, the answer is to “see if we can get all three issues of the quarterly newsletter out.”  To a board leader who knows the pressures that are on others while still trying to protect his wife and family the answer (unspoken) is “to find a new board member.”

But if you ask a board member who has time to think about it, they may say, our goal is to support private home education; to protect home school freedom; to defeat the bad legislation, and to provide encouragement for teaching parents.

Let me look again at the role of a chairman as providing vision, goals and support. Vision is something that can be seen, but not readily grasped. A goal is something that can be obtained only after diligent “long-running” pursuit. Support promotes the vision, while moving toward the goal, and helping the families that are responsible for that forward motion. When we put aside the earthly toil for the ultimate responsibility, our vision is to see Him. Our goal is make disciples of all the earth, and our efforts are to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

An Incomplete Vision

When asked to do goal setting without the eternal purpose overarching the brainstorming the discussion and the eventual product, homeschool groups have missed the boat completely. A plan for Christ-centered families and spiritual leadership was left behind sitting there on the dock and homeschool academics and mother’s peace of mind were the only tangible items on board. They had taken one small task and made that the single most important vision of their organization.

Mother’s peace of mind, father’s role as leader, handling academic challenges, and forsaking not the assembling of yourselves together are all steps that need to be handled to insure the road to a godly goal, and an eye on an eternal vision. But they are not the vision and they are not the goal in themselves.

Group A quite frankly said, “We formed to have an organization that will sponsor a conference so we can have an exhibit hall like ‘they’ do."  It is tried and proven that conferences (or assembling yourselves together) have changed lives. The moving message from God’s word, the brilliant speaker, the fellowship of sitting among 1,00 like-minded people all have promoted vision. But very few changes have come from the exhibit hall. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. A conference is a tool to accomplish sharing the vision, and multiplying faith. It helps in raising godly families. It can provide a particularly hard jab at placing fathers in their correct role as head of the household. It can give the confidence to the parents who have just begun the journey and haven’t been exposed to the spiritual blessings of home-based discipleship. Is having a conference wrong - NO – Should it be pursued for an exhibit hall – NO- Is it a means to the end of changing hearts and minds - YES

Group B said "We're  not a church so we're not going to  put those spiritual things in our mission statement." I'm not a church either but I do all things as unto the LORD. The boards that I am on puts a high enough priority on doing the work that God put us here to do that we wouldn't think of "leaving Christ at the door." His glory and honor mean more than our own mission statement and roles here on earth. His purpose is far more important than the act of home educating.

Definitions of Terms

If we have clearly given some thought to the role of the Board of a Christian organization, now we must spend some time defining the buzz words that will get thrown around when discussing the role of the board. If you're not around corporate buzz, there are some terms that seem to have been redefined by corporate America.

Sustainability - is the new name for RECYCLING, budget tightening, and sometimes downsizing-

Development - When you hear about a development director or a development department - that's called fund raising, partnershipping, or sometimes consolidation-

Exit Strategies - when someone is planning an exit strategy it most often means they want to change leadership without getting fingers pointed at them, or by sidestepping blame.

Just as the world has renamed things for their own purposes let me do a little of the same-

Sustainability for a  Christian organization should mean every board member is growing in grace and knowledge; god is the source of our sustenance. In regard to the world’s view of sustainability we should honor God's creation, but we don't worship the creation, only the Creator.

Development is finding families that share the vision and the goal of the organization and allowing them to exercise the talents that god has given them to serve him while serving alongside us

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is that time when we can put away our everyday dilemmas and look at the whole situation. What can we do to make a difference; to make a move towards the goal of the organization with each of our events, publications, and efforts.

When you are brainstorming all strategies are considered. Strategies vary by the amount of raw resources you have to execute them. I'm sure that we could make quite an impact on families and how they raise their children by putting a full time person in every maternity ward in every hospital and birthing center, providing information about quality parenting and family discipleship. If money were no object would we have those human resources to accomplish it?

Strategic planning is the antithesis of crisis management. Strategic planning is analogous to an automobile. You put energy into it in a reasonable form and it moves you toward your destination. If you treat it well it treats you well and usually, the more energy you can put into it the farther it takes you.

Treating a car well comes with some responsibilities. Do you only put energy into it when you run out?  It is wise to keep some momentum going. Don't let it grind to a stop. The law of inertia tells us an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. It works both ways. If you let an idea die from lack of attention, it takes a great deal more energy to start it moving again than it does to keep it moving.

Perhaps a more timely question is do you wait until you have a blow out or blow up before you realize that some of your tires (or nerves) are threadbare? Replacing tires is quite a bit easier than replacing board members. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of one tire blowing out (or one member blowing up) causes the whole vehicle or board to careen off course. Worse yet, sometimes it causes the board which is otherwise moving at a high rate of speed to strike an immovable object and all parts to come to a stop. This calamity does not only require a new tire, but sometimes requires many costly repairs to even the parts of the board that are least involved.

Honesty, although sometimes difficult between Christians, is still the best policy to keep disagreements on the surface and out in the open and not let them get buried in bitterness. That root of bitterness mentioned in Hebrews 12:15 may have been a superficial disagreement between board members that was not handled with honesty at the time they arose. So in the words of the analogy,  patching a potential blowup with honesty and trust will make the tread last a lot longer and keep the board traveling on course.

During the time of stress we sometimes put a shiny coat of wax over a half acre of rust. Keeping up appearances is important to the well-being and public façade of the organization. We want the car or the board to look good while it’s out in public, but we let it fall apart when we get home or back at a board meeting.

In the matter of fuel efficiency, true to the model of homeschool families, we sometimes drive that car far longer than we should. New technology could get us somewhere much faster than this older model, but we don't want to think about change until we absolutely have to. Change is a way to make sure that we are getting the most mileage  for the amount of energy we invest.

Once every 2 or 3 years we need to look and see if a new model would get us closer to our goal using less energy. We need to see if decisions that were made when our last plans were formulated are still getting the mileage we need. That’s strategic planning.

Our destination is the same, just how we get there might have to change to be a better use of energy and a more attractive model for others to identify with. If we “get out” of the car to take a look at it and find that we’re traveling in a model T when the world is going by in a supersonic jet, we may find that we can move faster towards our goals using less energy with a new plan and a new approach. Only in extreme cases does this mean with new board members.

Back to the Questions as Indicators

Let’s look at the list of scratch questions that we asked at the beginning. If money were no object but a complete and detailed ACTION Plan were, what would your board get accomplished? This is a classic question in planning. It is an indicator of how the respondent really feels. If the responder says “I’d hire someone to do my job” it very well mean that this is not a person performing a labor of love as much as a volunteer who is frustrated and sees that as his only way out.

If the answer is “I’d pay families to homeschool,” you have a worker who doesn't understand that homeschooling is just one tool that God uses - it's not an end in itself. This volunteer, or manager, or board member is not in alignment with a larger view of family discipleship.

This question can also display areas of frustration of perceived shortages. The answer “I’d enlarge our publication to 60 full-color pages” may mean that the volunteer has a greater vision for this project than he or she feels the organization can afford. It’s a frustrated laborer who would like to do more but feels constrained by budgetary issues.

In the answer “I’d hire a full time staff to answer phones and e-mails” you might see indicator that the volunteer can’t give the important tasks the time they need and feels bad that they are not being done well.

What happens when the really big ideas come up? Perhaps a full-time radio ministry, or a Christian homeschool conference center, a training center for pastors who want to  foster family discipleship and a multi-generational vision in their churches, or start a Christian homeschool public relations agency.

These kinds of ideas (and hundreds of others) display the fact that the board dreams dreams and wants to see big things happen. They have talked to each other about ideas and strategies and promotions.  They see their role as world-changers, eventhough they can’t afford it right away.

On the contrary this question can be a negative indicator. If the answer is “I just can’t think of anything” the directors, the managers, and even the laborers are displaying a lack of enthusiasm, and dissatisfaction with their role in God’s plan. That's an indicator that board leadership needs to take quite seriously

One of our other questions dealt with underutilized talents. God gave each of us talents - some were buried in the ground, some were invested, some return "profit" many fold. Let’s pretend that your board has stratified and is comfortable with the division of labor and you're hoping that this alignment step will come along. How does it happen?

It can’t happen smoothly or at all if everyone is not investing their talents in the organization. Like the parable, not all have equal talents, but all have an opportunity to use all that they have. If some directors, or managers are holding out, to see if others will do it, eventually no one will do it. This parallels a lack of trust between leaders.  “I’m not going to invest my energy unless someone else invests theirs.” When everyone is striving after the same goal and sharing the same vision it is easy to identify that not everyone has been given the same talents. People accept that in grace- if everyone is not on the same page - you can well get the "I DO MORE THAN HE DOES" or SHE DOES problems and that's where a strong visionary comes into play.

A strong leader will get to know the abilities of the members-  they will carefully fit the tasks to the personalities. They will gain the support of the board as they move the organization to a common goal.

Exit Strategy

In the stories documented in the book of Chronicles is one about King David. He made plans to build The Temple.  In 1 Chronicles 28, David said I will build the temple to be a footstool for God.  David had high goals and an infinite vision. God said “You will not build the temple.” There is not too much mistaking God in His words.

David could have acted like many organizational founder and leaders that I have known down through the years. He could have said, “It is destine that I won’t make my lasting impression on the homeschool movement, so I’ll just wander away. I’ll quit.” But David didn’t do that. When God clearly told David that he was not going to build the temple, David made sure that all the preparations were in place for the successor, in this case it was his son.

Apart from the nepotism, let’s dwell on the example- David passed on a plan and a vision: 11Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch of the temple, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms and the room for the mercy seat; 12and the plan of all that he had in mind, for the courts of the house of the LORD, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the storehouses of the house of God and for the storehouses of the dedicated things; 13also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD and for all the utensils of service in the house of the LORD;”

David stored up precious  things necessary for the task but that take time to accumulate: ”for the golden utensils, the weight of gold for all utensils for every kind of service; for the silver utensils, the weight of silver for all utensils for every kind of service; 15and the weight of gold for the golden lampstands and their golden lamps, with the weight of each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for the silver lampstands, with the weight of each lampstand and its lamps according to the use of each lampstand; 16and the gold by weight for the tables of showbread, for each table; and silver for the silver tables; 17and the forks, the basins, and the pitchers of pure gold; and for the golden bowls with the weight for each bowl; and for the silver bowls with the weight for each bowl; 18and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the model of the chariot, even the cherubim that spread out their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.”

David was open to God’s direction: 19“All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern.”

David gave godly encouragement: 20Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished. 21“Now behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God, and every willing man of any skill will be with you in all the work for all kinds of service. The officials also and all the people will be entirely at your command.”

As aging leaders we need to prepare a pathway for the one who God has chosen. We need to prepare the organization to have precious asset necessary for God’s plan. We need to show godly encouragement. But perhaps most important we need to have a plan. This plan might not be the perfect plan, but it is a place for new leaders or a new board of directors to start.  This plan is the outcome of strategic planning, following God’s word, and not getting knocked off the path by unforeseen collisions or break downs.

As I Leave you

Does your organization have a well-planned path for travel in the future?

Do you have a board of directors, a board of co-laborers, or just a circle of friends?

Do you step away from your tasks as a board to examine the fuel efficiency of the organization?

Can you say that all of the human resources on the board are being used to full advantage?


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