A Board Prayer

“Dear God . . . Grant us the joy of arriving at adjournment closer to one another because we are closer to You.”

 

by Dan Busby and John Pearson

This prayer, written by our colleague Dan Bolin, is a model prayer for every ministry board for every meeting. As one executive pastor said, “The first time I read Dan Bolin’s prayer, I instantly wondered if he had somehow secretly been listening in on every board meeting I ever attended.”

Dear God,

THANK YOU for calling this ministry into existence and for allowing it to serve and care for the people you love.

  • Thank you for the various perspectives represented in this meeting and the things we will learn from one another.
  • Thank you for the privilege of corporately receiving reports, and with one voice establishing policies, discovering direction, setting goals and encouraging those who serve in this ministry.
  • Thank you for the many people whose lives will be influenced through our meeting—other board members, staff, volunteers, donors, participants, vendors, and generations yet unborn who will benefit from the decisions we make today.
  • And God, thank you for entrusting your ministry into our care. Help us to be worthy of the trust that you and others are placing in us.

Father, allow me to REPORT HONESTLY.

  • Help me to tell the whole truth not just the parts that make me look good.
  • Let me not bury bad news in mounds of data and detail and don’t let me gloss over painful issues or personal failures.
  • Help me to give credit to others and take responsibility for failure and lack of progress.
  • Don’t let me trivialize serious issues or magnify minor successes.
  • Let me tell stories and provide statistics that represent accurately.
  • Help me remember that good information provides a smooth pathway to good decisions.

God, as we approach this meeting, help us to SEE CLEARLY.

  • Help us to see the issues before us from many perspectives—but ultimately from your perspective. Align our thoughts with your thoughts and our work with your desire.
  • God, help us to see our ministry’s strengths and weaknesses and to embrace both.
  • Help us connect the dots between the many good ideas to find the great idea you have for us.
  • Help us to distinguish what is significant from what is superficial, what is short-term from what is long-term, and what is best for me from what is best for all.

Help me to LISTEN OBJECTIVELY.

  • Allow me the grace to filter angry words and hear the truth behind what is being said.
  • Help me to listen to the painful heart from which flows harsh comments.
  • Help me to learn from what is legitimate and to discard what is said in spite.
  • Help me to respond to questions with grace and respect.
  • Allow me to focus on what is being said more than how I will respond.

Help me to SPEAK CAUTIOUSLY.

  • Let me use the least words, the least intensity, the least volume needed to be understood.
  • Help me voice my opinions with care, strength, and meekness.
  • Help me to ask good questions, open dialogue, explore options, and deepen discussion.
  • Help me to say nothing degrading and nothing that would draw lines of conflict unnecessarily.
  • Help me to affirm and agree whenever possible.
  • Help me to give second voice to a courageous and wise first voice; those who risk presenting a new, contrary, or unrefined perspective.
  • Lord, help me to accept compliments and approval with humility.
  • God, give me the grace to watch with dignity as my proposal fails, and give me humility when my idea meets with approval.

Dear God, give the board wisdom to PLAN WISELY.

  • Help us to see opportunities and threats and to count the cost and to weigh risks and rewards.
  • Help us to see the possibilities for a better future.
  • Help us to honor the past but give us the courage to abandon the methods that provided yesterday’s success but will lead to futility tomorrow.
  • Help us discover and employ the most effective methods to accomplish your mission for this ministry in the days ahead.
  • Help this board to avoid the herd mentality that could stampede the ministry in a dangerous and reckless direction.
  • Help us to see which decisions are easily reversed and which ones are changed at great peril.

And dear God, help us to REMAIN UNIFIED.

  • Allow every member to express his or her opinion fully.
  • Help us to engage the dreams for the future with harmony and enthusiasm.
  • Help each of us to leave this meeting with the commit­ment to speak with one voice and to support the group decisions in public and private.
  • Help us to remember that few decisions are worth the divisions caused by dominant winning or belligerent losing.
  • Help us to seek your glory and not ours.
  • Grant us the joy of arriving at adjournment closer to one another because we are closer to you.

AMEN

 

“A Board Prayer” by Dan Bolin.1 © Copyright 2014
by Dan Bolin Resources, Inc. (dan@danbolin.com)

 

 

Read this prayer at your next board meeting.
Distribute copies to each board member. One at a time—
around the boardroom—ask each board member
to read one sentence until the prayer is completed.
Then, in teams of two, invite each person
to share with their partner the one sentence
that the Holy Spirit nudged them about.

 

From Lessons From the Nonprfit Boardroom: 40 Insights for Better Board Meetings, ECFAPress, 2018, www.ECFA.org/KnowledgeCenter.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.

Navigation


Follow @ecfa