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Before a New Board Member Says, "I do."

When we ask someone to serve on our board, we are asking—in effect—"Will you marry this organization?" We don't need to carry the analogy too far, of course. For instance, board membership may be for a term, and is not intended to be for life. Yet, there is a trust there, and this trust is indeed sacred in a lot of ways.

Board membership is not an "honorary" position. Instead, board members are asked to be stewards over a ministry, and are expected to look to the Lord for wisdom as they consider such things as mission, resources, programs, goals and more.

With that in mind, a prospective board member should be able to accurately "count the cost" of board membership before deciding whether to join the ministry.

To do this, he or she needs good information from current board members regarding what will be expected. Below are some reasonable expectations, so that both the board—and prospective board members—can know in advance what it means to steward the ministry properly.

Our board places a high priority on attendance at meetings. We only miss if providentially hindered, as this is a calling we don't take lightly. We are looking for someone who thinks the same.

We ask questions and seek to know as much as we can about the ministry. We look outside of ourselves for answers, knowing that God gives wisdom to others who have walked our path before. We're looking for someone who will read all correspondence and be prepared before the meeting begins.

We are entrusted with expanding the mission of this ministry, and we look for those who are ready to lead as we go forward.

When we have special events, board members need to be visible and active. Those interested in becoming part of the ministry will be looking to us for an example of what it means to be a participant. We need to be available.

We are the number one cheerleaders for the staff and volunteers of the ministry. Wherever we go, we represent their efforts and must be positive and encouraging as we talk about the ministry's activities.

Each of us is expected to invest financially in the ministry, at a level that we believe God is calling us to. If we give, we then have a platform upon which to ask others to give.

This is the most important calling we can have—to pray fervently for this ministry. We want those to come on board who believe in prayer, and practice it on behalf of the work that goes on with this ministry.


Kirk Walden, founder of LifeTrends, is a consultant to pregnancy care ministries across America and a frequent banquet speaker.




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