Church board members need to be kept up to speed in three keys areas. When the members of the board are addressing these three areas, the church itself will run more smoothly. Also, the member of the board will have confidence that they are protected when they execute their duties as best as they can.
The insurance for the church needs to be proper in every respect. Many churches cover the building without covering their ministries or the members of the board. A church’s policy should have provisions to protect board members from lawsuits, but it should also have provisions that protect the church from losses. Board members need to know where the church stands in these areas.
A church should follow its by-laws to the letter. In fact, the church should be a place where rules are followed no matter where they come from. The members of the board need to know if the church is actually following the by-laws, and they need to make sure they implement changes in the way the church operates. If a by-law has not been followed because it is arcane or obsolete, the board needs to move immediately to change it. No knowing is not a good enough excuse when people start leaving the church.
The board members need to know the state of the church’s finances to the letter. People in the congregation will question members of the board, and these members need to have answers. A board member does not need to memorize the church’s ledger, but they should be given a simple spreadsheet that explains how the church spends it money.
When members of the board have this information, they can more faithfully execute their duties. Without this information, they are often sitting ducks for people who are unhappy with the way things are at the church.