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Because of You
A Heart Turned to Truth
Because of You"Several years ago my drinking brought my family to the brink of despair."


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The Foolish Board

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus talks about wise and foolish builders, one who builds on rock and another who builds on sand. The point of the story is that each house faced the same wind and floods, but one house stood while the other collapsed. The builder of the collapsed house is now forever known as the “Foolish Builder.”

Boards are builders of their ministries. The board holds the plans, costs, and final approval of every strategy, project, and outcome of the ministry. Keeping with the building analogy, the board hires the Executive Director to be the construction foreman and charges her with being sure the job gets done in the proper way, within the proper costs, and within the given time frame. Many times boards expect to build skyscrapers while only providing the materials to build a mud hut.

I am referring to the need of the board to oversee and direct investment in the organization's infrastructure. Ministries that thrive, that grow, that are effective, are ministries that have prepared themselves to withstand the winds and floods of changing economic times, of changes in personnel, and that annual fund-draining surprise event called Summer. Board members must understand that the house is only as strong as the foundations upon which it is built. They must be ever watchful of opportunities to strengthen the organization through investment in infrastructure of the organization.

The infrastructure of fundraising, of staff development, and continual learning requires investment, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. Wise boards are willing to take the long-term view and direct the staff to find opportunities for infrastructure investment. This may mean hiring a development person, bringing in a consultant, sending a staff member for training, or encouraging attendance at a relevant conference. It is this kind of investment in the future that will keep your board from becoming forever known as “The Foolish Board.”

Bruce E. Cole is Manager of Professional Development Services in the Sanctity of Human Life Department at Focus on the Family. He has been Executive Director for two Pregnancy Resource Centers, is a former pastor, and holds a Master's Degree in Organization Development from Central Washington University. Bruce can be reached at [email protected]

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