I was reading through The Minister’s MBA, a book by George Babbles and Michael Zigarelli. They include a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte, and his words struck me as significant.
Let me write about the significance of his words before I share them with you. I’ve had opportunity to observe the relationship between pastors and boards, and experienced it myself. I encourage every pastor and every board member to read Napoleon’s words carefully and take them to heart: “Those who failed to oppose me, who readily agreed with me, accepted all my views, and yielded early to my opinions, were those who did me the most injury and were my worst enemies; because by surrendering to me so early, they encouraged me to go too far.”
Now, I’m not saying that board members should oppose the pastor by default, but neither should they be ‘yes men.’ I’ve seen church leaders go into too much debt, or misuse staff members, while the board numbly goes along.
May I encourage pastors to listen to and work with their boards, and insist that board members voice their opposition to an agenda they cannot fully support. That’s what I want from my board.
I’d appreciate your comments on this.