We encourage churches to adopt a governance system. What does that mean?
In a management model, the board says, “Pastor, you’re responsible to lead, but you can’t do anything without our permission.” When you’re given responsibility, but not authority to act, it’s called a bureaucracy.
One pastor needed board approval before he could buy something which was already in the budget. “That doesn’t make sense,” he told them. They said they honestly hadn’t thought of it that way.
The governance system (which is explained in the book “Winning on Purpose”), follows this pattern: the board governs, the pastor leads, the staff manages, and the people minister.
The pastor is given responsibility with authority–but there is accountability. Most boards control how the pastor does ministry. But in churches that have adopted the governance system, we’ve heard pastors say, “I’ve never been more free to lead, but I’ve never been held this accountable.”