The Job of the Church Board

Your first question as a new board chair might be: What is in my job description? This course, unfortunately, can't provide a final answer to that question. Different churches define the role of board chair in various ways. However, there are certain commonalities in the work of church boards and their chairs that we can share.

The Job of the Church Board

First, we must define the job of a church board. Historically, the church has called for administrators, as in 1 Corinthians 12:28. Most churches throughout history have called certain people to help make decisions at times when the whole congregation couldn't gather. Depending on the church, denomination, and tradition, these people might be clergy or lay members, and may be elected, selected, or called and ordained to act on behalf of the congregation.

Duties that these individuals and the bodies they formed had in common include representing the congregation, serving the congregation, completing the work of ministry, and acting in the faithful interest of the church. Acting in the interest of the congregation requires a faithfulness to God's mission for the particular congregation. These duties are very likely what you have charged with in your service on the board.

These duties ask certain things of those called to this work. The board must devote time and attention to the matters of the church. They must understand the mission of the church and act as responsible stewards of it. They must be loyal to the congregation and avoid conflicts of interest or petty and preferential actions. They must make decisions for the church and steward its finances and programs.

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