The Assembly Board recently spent a day together to hear from God, pray and plan the year ahead. Our particular focus was to ensure we are fulfilling the role that our membership has asked of us.
Amongst numerous requirements given to us, we are “expected to provide governance, leadership and ministry in a spiritual and inspirational manner”. When you think about it, this is a quite a responsibility.
Generally, governance is making sure procedures and legal requirements are followed, so how do we attempt to do that in a way that is spiritual, let alone inspirational?
Although what we do is important, I believe it’s how we do it that is of greater consequence. Do we take time to listen to quieter voices and a range of views that fully represent our members?
Do we take time to pray over our decisions? To look to the future and not simply to what we’ve always done? Are we careful how we journey disagreement or conflict?
Will we stay in unity even if we disagree with a decision that our fellow board members have ultimately chosen? Are we holding to our Baptist values and traditions?
Fortunately, in my experience the broad answer to these questions is YES, although it’s not always easy.
The Assembly Board is tasked with responsibility covering many areas of governance. We’re therefore made up in part by those possessing a particular skill, but also those with a theological or church ministry background.
We try to ensure that a wide range of churches are represented as well as ensuring diversity in race and gender. The remit of the Board is so broad that it necessitates several committees that meet regularly to focus on their area of skill.
Currently these are; Asset Management, Audit & Risk, Moderating, Nomination & Remuneration and Accreditation & Ordination. These committees are also tasked with focusing on the future and leading in a spiritual and inspirational manner.
Why am I telling you all this?
In most organisations, what goes on behind the scenes is rarely celebrated or even thought about unless a problem arises or a question is asked. But the team of board members we currently have are genuinely dedicated individuals who give many hours of their time to serve our members.
I know that to some, the thought of being involved in governance is mind-numbing, but I hope we all understand the importance of carrying out our roles earnestly, with integrity and to the highest ethical standards.
As we seek to do that, can I ask that at least occasionally you remember to pray for us, especially in strengthening us in carrying out our duties in the spiritual and inspirational manner requested of us.