Leading With Boundaries

Huntington University works on a governance system. If we have an issue with the university, we don’t go to a staff person, but to Dr. Dowden. He’s responsible to the board of trustees. The trustees establish the guiding principles and boundary principles for the University, but they let Dr. Dowden and his staff handle day-to-day things. 

In a church, the governance board operates the same way. The pastor is given authority to lead, but the board sets certain boundaries (such as, he can’t spend more than one percent of the budget at a time without getting permission). The staff work under the direction of the pastor and are accountable to him, not to the board. The board then holds the pastor accountable. 

A governance board doesn’t need more than 3-5 people. Some churches have made their elders group their board. Some call it the Executive Leadership Team or Church Leadership Council. Whatever the name, this group focuses on two things:

  • Make sure the big boundaries are being followed.
  • Monitor how goals are accomplished. 
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