Yikes, that’s a loaded question for many, isn’t it?  If you ask a Millennial or Gen X-er and a Boomer this question, you might get different answers. Their expectations and desired outcomes of board meetings might be different. Their measurements of effectiveness might also differ.

First, to fairly measure the effectiveness of a leadership board’s meeting, we must clearly understand the mission/purpose of the organization (church).  Secondly, we must clearly understand the role, purpose, authority, and responsibility of the leadership board as it serves the organization (church). Third, is the meeting moving the mission/purpose of the organization (church) forward within the scope of the leadership board’s role, authority, and responsibility? 

If all three of the steps are clearly defined, understood, and clearly being executed, then the meetings are likely effective. If any one of the three steps are unclear, undefined, misunderstood, or no one is being held accountable to, then the leadership board meetings are likely not effective. It sounds pretty simple, right?  Actually, it is in theory, but in practice leaders struggle with it – especially in the church.  This is especially true when board meetings have been ineffective for years or sometimes decades.


Here are leading the ineffective church leadership board meeting practices which in turn further result in ineffective missional focus and accomplishment:


  • Leadership boards tend to manage instead of govern.  Not only is this ineffective, but it is not practical since board members are not at the church on a day-to-day basis to manage the day-to-day operations.  Therefore, the board becomes the bottleneck to the whole operation.  In addition, when the board manages, no one is doing the important governing work (i.e., generative, strategic, and accountable).


  • Leadership boards tend to ignore their responsibility and accountability to Christ to lead the church in its mission to reach new people.  Years can go by without reaching one new person and no one seems to notice, hold themselves accountable, make any noticeable changes, or really spend time doing the deep spiritual and strategic work to find out why and make course adjustments.
  • Leadership boards tend to focus more on maintaining the relationships of the church people already gathered (and keeping them happy – especially the big givers) rather than focusing on building new relationships with new people in their mission field.


  • Leadership boards tend to focus more on scarcity rather than abundance.  Rather than seeing how their church has been blessed to receive assets and now their responsibility is how to best leverage those gifts for ministry today, they tend to store up these gifts for future rainy days. Church gifts have gold plagues affixed for recognition to a people instead of recognizing all gifts ultimately come from God.

  • Leadership boards tend to focus on hearing reports rather than measuring whether the activities of the church are actually helping the church live out its mission of making disciple-making disciples who are transforming the world.  Leaders are not determining if what’s going on in the life of the church is actually helping existing people mature in their faith and if the church is reaching new people.


There are more practices that lead to ineffective leadership board meetings and the resulting ineffective mission implementation. However, these are the top practices that hold them back. If your church leadership board would like to move toward more effective leadership board meetings and even more effective missional focus and implementation, check out these resources for assistance:


  1. Accountable Leadership Overview, Complimentary Overview Video

  2. Accountable Leadership, On-Demand Webinar

  3. Ten Most Common Things That Stunt Church Growth, On-Demand Webinar

  4. Being the Church in the Post Pandemic World, On Demand Webinar,  Book

  5. Gear Up: Nine Essential Processes for the Optimized Church, Book, On-Demand Webinar