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Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In Governance and Ministry, Dan Hotchkiss offers congregational leaders a roadmap and tools for changing the way boards and clergy work together to lead congregations. Hotchkiss demonstrates that the right governance model is the one that best enables a congregation to fulfill its mission to achieve both the outward results and the inward quality of life to which it is cal ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published April 15th 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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Mark Evans
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Superb. Nuts-and-bolts on how to function well as a leadership team, stay organized, delineate roles and get stuff done. Understand that this is not coming from one particular faith tradition but looking big picture on how communities of faith organize themselves (make the necessary corrections as needed).

The biggest take away for me is that committees report to the board for decision-making and then they get dissolved (with the notable exception of a nominating committee, and finance committee
Lisa Lewton
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For anyone with a leadership role in a church, this is a top 3 book about the role of pastors, staff and council. Written with expertise from experience, and written clearly and concisely. Weaved with minimal stories and straightforward guidance. I learned what it means to be led as leaders by the mission of the congregation, and how to organize to effectively to carry out the mission.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Thoughtful book worth reading if you have interest in the way church is governed.
Yoni Garbourg
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in preparing for my role as Chair and President of the progressive Jewish congregation in Singapore. It helped define a lot of challenges and contextualized the hornet's nest I was carelessly, and willfully entering.

I have used it as a reference when orienting new board members, and for self-guidance on various matters.

While the concept of differentiating between Teams and Committees has not made itself part of the society's general culture, the independence to make decisions b
Kendra Richards Ohmann
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is another book written for a particular audience. If you are not clergy, a staff member, a board member, or a very active member of you church, you have no reason to read or care about this book. But if you are in any way involved with the inner workings of your church, this is a great read. It breaks down various ways a church can function well and it includes all sizes and denominations of churches. It doesn't tell you how you should function, but gives examples and suggestions. It's rea ...more
Roderick Wolfson
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
For religious congregations, this is a great governance book and a big improvement over Carver's Policy Governance. ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
If your church is going through a restructuring of governance models, this is a helpful book in framing discussions. I recommend it.
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is no one right way to organize a congregation; each community of faith must choose a structure right for its own values and beliefs, and in harmony with the practice of its historic tradition and its larger family of congregations. What too many congregations choose, however, is a loose, ambiguous structure that creates a strong, unwanted bias against change. If the world were stable and the religious needs of people stayed the same from one generation to the next, that might be
David Glasgow
As one who has worked in and for churches of various denominations for a quarter-century or so, I found the idealistic "bottom line" of Hotchkiss's premise familiar: a church board should be focused on, and help staff and laypeople to focus on, the congregation's mission statement.

The unfortunate "other shoe" to such idealism tends to be something along the lines of, "…but of course we need to keep an eye on unexpected expenditures." But Hotchkiss, explicitly and emphatically, eschews that kind
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Because of the inherent tensions within organized religion to both challenge the status quo and simultaneously maintain order, a church can be at odds within itself when weighting which inner inclination to give preference to. Thus, a structure which promotes healthy discussion, discernment, and leadership is critical to a church's vitiality. Many of our most hard fought battles in church are distractions from what the world needs and what Christ calls us to do. This book is a breath of fresh ai ...more
Mary Licking
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Mary by: Ellen Fisher
Comprehensive in terms of the topics it covers that are of interest to those serving in church governance roles, especially on the governance board. Was probably closer to state of the art at the time I read it. Through meetings with those active in advising in the field, have learned that thinking has evolved and all parts of it may not be as relevant today.
Rexanna Ipock-Brown
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone who is in the process of helping a church through the growing pains of restructuring it's board, mission, vision and generally how things get done. Hotchkiss leads you through the philosophy and then gives you guidelines that are practical to help you reach your own conclusions. A great reference book, but it is not light reading. ...more
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Helpful overview of how a church could/should run. Like how he emphasizes, several times, how many structures can potentially work so long as there is the emotional intelligence to do so--good intentions, manners, and kindness go a long way. Very good on Productive Board Meetings. A great refresher for pastors, and a good book to share with lay leaders. I'm getting a few for my council's members. ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Read this as our church session is considering how to do business differently. Very detailed, sometimes gets mired in the specifics. Illustrations are sometimes more confusing in explaining processes. Offers an interesting perspective to governance in non- profits. The appendices are very helpful.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shelly by: Betsy Maurer
Learning how to be an effective member of a nonprofit board is one thing; sitting on the board of a religious institution adds another layer of complexity. This book highlights the salient differences as well as the similarities, and offers strategies for developing a high-performing board.
John Mosman
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Having just been elected to my church's board, this book is an excellent book about board leadership, My former church hired the author to help them through a governance change with great results, I highly recommend this book for those involved with church leadership. ...more
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A good introduction to the Carver model of policy governance. Much more readable than Carver. While focused on churches, other non-profits--especially religiously affiliated--will benefit from Hotchkiss' writings. ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very wise book on congregational leadership and structure. The parts where I wasn't nodding my head in recognition, I was being enlightened with "aha" insights. I will be referring to this often. ...more
Al Gritten
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
good solid look at the pros and cons of various systems of church governance
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well written by an experienced consultant. We'll see how it goes as we try to implement some of his ideas. ...more
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Great guidance for thinking about how boards function, what they're supposed to do, and how they can play nicely with clergy. Highly recommended for church leadership of all stripes. ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved reading this as a part of my church board of trustees discussion group. Learned so much!
Susan Koch
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I keep coming back to this book, as our church delves into policy governance. A very useful guide.
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
An excellent book for any one involved in a non-profit board, especially on a board/council for any sort of church leadership.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Read/skimmed it in preparation for a leadership retreat. I'm new to my Society, so I don't know enough about its current situation to have context. ...more
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