Are You In Over Your Head?

Moses was overwhelmed. He had ascended the mountain… and descended the mountain. He had proclaimed God’s mandates, acknowledged the faithful and addressed the murmurers, and was trying to restore order and set the laws in motion. He was also hearing every dispute of the people from morning to evening. To say Moses was “in over his head” would be an understatement.

Sound familiar?

I believe that Moses’s greatest leadership moment was when he humbly acknowledged his need for help and listened to the wisdom of others. Enter Jethro. Exodus 18:24 says, “Moses took Jethro’s advice…”

We who are in ministry leadership must humble ourselves and acknowledge we need advice and support from those who are intentionally and passionately invested in our success. This is where a board of directors really comes into play. With over 125 Prison Fellowship ministries around the world, there are likely over 1,000 board members in our association. These are committed and dedicated people, who encourage, correct, guide—and especially, provide wisdom to key leaders. You’re not alone. Your board is a gift from God!

I’ve experienced this personally in my regular talks with Jack Kiervin, PFI Board Chairman. Also, on a monthly basis, I engage two or three other board members, seeking their counsel regarding all sorts of issues. I know the lines of communication and support are wide open.

Having healthy board involvement is a critical ingredient to achieve an impact for the Kingdom. The relationship between the executive leadership team and its board of directors is one of the most important relationships in your  ministry. It will have a major effect on your ministry’s development and ability to alleviate the suffering of the prisoner, the child of a prisoner, and the ex-prisoner. Each board member is here because he/she has a passion for the vision, is a guardian of the mission, and is enthusiastic for your success in your commission. The board is a resource for you to draw from and gain wisdom.

I see Jack more as a partner than someone who is watching and evaluating my every move. His advice and counsel is very important since he has great business and leadership experience and is not bogged down by the everyday aspects of the ministry. At the end of each discussion, Jack always prays for me and my family. This is so encouraging, and I sense a covering of protection.

I want to remind us all that seeking wisdom should be a personal priority. As Proverbs 4:5­–7 says, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Seeking wisdom isn’t always comfortable. It takes courage to be vulnerable. And as you pursue wisdom, let the board come alongside you in a real way.

What can you do today to further improve your relationship with your board members? Pray for them. Then, I encourage you to support them and treat them with respect
and honor for they are special servants of God.

My prayer for all of us today is “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16).

Article originally published March 2, 2016, in Prison Fellowship International’s PFI Roundtable.

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