The Pastor and Board Relationship


I returned to Germany recently to lead a class and continuing education seminar for the European Nazarene College, German Learning Center, on the subject, “Pastor and Board: The Mentoring Role of the Pastor.” A detailed working agenda/document was translated into the German language and used as a guide through the sessions.

Also prepared and translated for the seminar was a “Local Church Board Survey.” The questionnaire asked questions related to 1) Board and Mission,” 2) Board/Pastor Relations, 3) Member to Member Relations, 4) The Board Agenda, 5) The Organization of the Board, 6) The Functioning of the Board and 6) “Nuts and Bolts Issues,” including a new board orientation, the size of the board, and the length of the board meetings. And additional board checklist was used.

Local church board roles, responsibilities and functions captured much of out seminar time, with attention given to the fiduciary, strategic, and responsibility “modes of thinking” required for strong and effective local church boards. Attention to the church’s legal documents and to strategic thinking and planning for the local church were also emphasized.

Using the prepared documents, the pastors and board leaders reflected deeply on the boards on whom they serve and with whom they work. The participants’ perceptions and opinions guided us in identifying the most needed areas for discussion. Their responses help form the basis for generalized observations and also to shape a tentative agenda for subsequent development of the boards on which they serve. The detailed working agenda, checklist and survey, and the discussions also served to assist pastors to clearly identify areas wherein they should focus more intentionally in their mentoring role with their boards.


With Klaus Arnold, European Nazarene College Rector, and his wife, Martina, in Gelnhausen, Germany. Phenomenal weekend!

I remember teaching the “Leadership and Administration” classes at ENBC when I served the school as academic dean and instructor. Board relationships and development, I regret to say, was not even discussed in my classes. Very regretable on my part. Both College and I have changed and matured. The seminar participants in Germany were very appreciative for the focused attention on the subject, and want to be much more intentional about the pastor and board relationship in the future. So do I.

Click here to access the German text, “Pastor and Board: The Mentoring Role of the Pastor.”
Click here to access the English text.  “Pastor and Board: The Mentoring Role of the Pastor.”
Click here to access the English text of the “Local Church Board Survey “
Click here to access the German text of the survey (to be uploaded soon)

Prepared by:

E. LeBron Fairbanks,
Founding Director, BoardServe LLC


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