10 Questions for evaluating your board meetings!


10 Questions for Evaluating Your Board Meetings

During a recent Defining Moments, “Leading Change Together,” Bill Hybels and Jim Mellado talked about a new practice Willow’s elder board is using to evaluate its meetings.

At the end of the meeting, the board chairperson asks the board to take five minutes to evaluate the meeting out loud—not through a written or private survey. This helps the board hold itself accountable and prevents any “meetings after the meeting” in which such feedback is often provided. Here is a general list of the questions they ask:

  1. Did we receive progress reports on the goals to which we are holding the management team accountable?
  2. Were the interests and needs of our church’s members and those we serve considered or discussed?
  3. Was motivation and enthusiasm high or low? Were we fully engaged?
  4. Was the purpose of information provided identified as either (1) monitoring (helping the board track the performance of a goal), (2) needing a decision from the board, or (3) information only?
  5. Did we discuss ends (the outcomes or goals for which we are holding the church’s management team accountable)?
  6. Did the board discuss or take action on responsibilities that should have been delegated to the management team or staff?
  7. Were issues discussed in connection to existing policies? Did we apply current policies in making the decisions?
  8. In this meeting, did were there any instances where someone violated our code of conduct? Were there any “fouls”?
  9. Did we seek consensual decisions?
  10. Did we acknowledge achievements and celebrate them?

A copy of the Policy Governance Board Self-Assessment is available here. It is based on John Carver’s work on Policy Governance, which has been adopted by Willow’s elder board. We highly recommend John Carver’s book, Boards That Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations.

What about your team? How do you evaluate your meetings? What questions do you ask?


GAME CHANGER – by Tim Elmore

Game Changer

game changer

Last month, I spoke at a Chick-fil-A event for team leaders in their restaurants. It was a gathering of several hundred young general managers, managers and team leaders of restaurants all over the Southeast. The theme was: “Game Changer.”  We talked about the fact that there are leaders—and then there are leaders who are “game changers.” They are the ones who don’t merely occupy the role up front, but they actually transform the way people approach what they do. They change the industry. Nobody is the same after they’ve led.

This event got me thinking. The term comes from sports broadcasting. It originally referred to an athlete or a moment in a game that changed the momentum and outcome. Due to the effort of one player, the entire contest was transformed. To be concrete, it’s Jeremy Lin coming off the bench and putting wind in the sails of the New York Knicks. Or for that matter, it’s Michael Jordan through the 80s and 90s who changed the way basketball was perceived by everyone. He’s the standard. In fact, we now compare current talent on the court to Mike. He was a game changer.

There are a number of “game changers” in our world today that you and I both know. The late Steve Jobs was one. Apple changed the way we communicate. They didn’t just create a computer and phone—they changed the way we use them. There are now portable devices that do everything, from phone calls, to taking photos, to surfing the web, to navigating a road trip. We will never be the same. Now, others must follow and try to keep up. Steve Jobs also changed the way animated movies are made, with Pixar. Once we saw “Toy Story” and the other Pixar movies where computer graphics make characters seem alive, we got spoiled. Others now work to accomplish the same goal. But Steve Jobs set the standard. He was the game changer.

These days—I am asking myself new questions. Am I a game changer for my industry? Do I not only perform well each day, but do I transform the way the job is done? Do I set a standard for people? Have I even changed the rules and expectations for what seems possible to achieve with young people?

When I consider leadership development for the next generation—that’s my aim.

  • Through the power of engaging their right-brain with images;
  • Through the power of engaging their imagination through conversations;
  • Through the power of engaging their will through experiences…

…we are committed to be game changers for those who lead youth.

Reflect on your work for a moment. Are you a game changer? Do you help leaders re-think the way go about leading students? Do you force them to expect more?

By Tim Elmore



5 Keys to Building Healthy Volunteer Teams by Tony Morgan

5 Keys to Building Healthy Volunteer Teams by Tony Morgan

 Are you committed to building healthy volunteer teams?

Last week I had the opportunity to teach a workshop at the Orange Conference for the very first time. Loved it! I am definitely not called to kid’s or student ministry, but I love hanging out with family ministry leaders.

In my session last week, we talked about building healthy volunteer teams. You’d think in volunteer intensive ministries like we engage in churches, that there would be more written and talked about on this topic. Yet, Simply Strategic Volunteers is still one of the few books I’m aware of that’s focused on engaging volunteers in the Church. (What other good resources do you know of on this specific topic?) The Volunteer Revolution by Bill Hybels.

These are the five keys to building healthy volunteer teams that I offered to the Orange leaders last week:

  1. Think volunteers before staff. It’s our responsibility to “equip God’s people to do his work.” When we’re overwhelmed, our first question should be “How can we equip more volunteers?” As I’ve shared before, the church I’ve worked with that had the fewest staff members per attendees also had the highest percentage of people volunteering. They are thinking volunteers before staff, and it’s working.
  2. Teach shoulder-tapping. My friend Tim taught me this one. In the church, we tend to rely on promotions to recruit volunteers. We use platform announcements and bulletin ads and pleas for help. Volunteer recruitment is relational. It’s one friend inviting another friend to join them in serving. Four out of five people show up to church for the first time through an invitation from a friend. That same principle works for every next step people take at your church.
  3. Stay focused. This is a simple math problem. The more ministry programs and events your church offers, the more volunteers you’ll need. Focused ministry means less competition for people’s time and attention. People are busy. Their church shouldn’t be compounding the problem. We should be helping people prioritize their time rather than making their lives more complicated.
  4. Identify leaders, not doers. The church needs doers, or servants, too. But, as Jethro pointed out to Moses, we also need capable leaders. We need leaders of tens, fifties, hundreds and thousands. (See the 4 Stages of Leadership.) And, this may surprise you, but you don’t have to be on paid staff to be a leader in the church. Volunteers have leadership gifts too. If you feel stuck, you probably don’t need another person to get tasks done. Instead, you need another person to lead.
  5. Empower people to use their gifts. We need to remember it’s about the body of Christ using their gifts to fulfill God’s mission. It’s more about helping people be who God created them to be than it is about us finding people to get tasks done. I love this line from Tony Dungy, “I wasn’t there to be their boss. I was there to help the players get better.” That same philosophy of helping people pursue God’s potential applies in ministry as well.

Share what you’re learning about building healthy volunteer teams. What’s working? What’s not? Join the conversation by sharing your comment

How to shave 10 hours off your work week!



#010: How to Shave 10 Hours Off Your Work Week [Podcast]



In this podcast episode, I talk practical ways to restore margin in your life and, specifically, how to shave ten hours off your work week.


This is something I am personally having to re-apply to my own life. In this episode I share some of my current challenges.

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Episode Outline

If you are intentional, I believe you can shave at least ten hours—maybe more—off your work week. That is forty hours or one week a month. Even if I am only have right, it’s still an enormous amount of time.

Here are seven strategies to get you started:

  1. Limit your time online.
  2. Plan your day in advance.
    • Quadrant 1 Tasks: Urgent and Important
    • Quadrant 2 Tasks: Important But Not Urgent
    • Quadrant 3 Tasks: Urgent But Not Important
    • Quadrant 4 Tasks: Neither Urgent Nor Important
  3. Touch e-mails once and only once.
  4. Triage your calendar.
  5. Schedule time in the alone zone.
  6. Use batch processing.
  7. Use e-mail templates to say “no.”

Listener Questions

  1. Question #1: Jane Graham asked, “How can my husband, who is a busy public high school principal, cut back?”
  2. Question #2: Jen McDonough asked, “What’s the best way to get started with a virtual assistant?”
  3. Question #3: Kurt Feldner asked, “How can I use crowd-sourcing to save time?”
  4. Question #4: Lessa Barnes asked, “How can I delegate in a way that doesn’t end up costing me more time than if I had done it myself”

Next week, I will be talking about “The Secret Power of Naps.” If you have a question about that topic, please leave me a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you.

I want to register as many sales as possible during the first official pub week of May 21–25 in order to have a shot at driving the best sellers list.

As a result, I have put together a bonus package of seven FREE BONUSES worth $375.98! To get this special bonus offer, all you have to do is buy the book. I can’t tell you more yet, but you can signup here to be notified when this special offer is available.

Episode Resources

I mentioned the following resources in the show:

Show Transcript

You can download a transcript of this episode here.

Your Feedback

I want to hear from you! Please leave me a voicemail with your question. I may use it on the next episode of my show. If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Question: How are you doing at the practice of priority management? You can leave a comment by clicking here.