Board of Directors versus Customers

The board of directors of an organization is charged with supervising the leader and helping set the strategic vision and goals for that organization. Board members are usually selected for their vision and wisdom. Boards are strategic-thinking with the long view. Sometimes boards are accused of being dispassionate and uncaring about employees and even customers.


Customers are sometimes quite passionate about what they want and sometimes even have “what’s in it for me right now” mindset. They have a need for immediate gratification – that’s why they’re in the store. Customers are occasionally vocal about their needs and that emotion can lead to tense interactions.


A church is unique in that church members are both board members and customers. Sometimes a member will act like a board member and sometimes like a customer – and sometimes the member will do that in the same meeting.  That puts church staff in a tough position – they have to learn when a member is acting in what capacity. Church staff are caught in-between and that can lead to confusing messages to them.


Most of the time, members think and act like customers. That is a good rule of thumb. Church staff need to always think like board members. Leaders act like board members.

All key church committee members must act like board members (that’s what they are in that role). And in church business meetings, members must be encouraged to think like board members not act like customers.


Consider your own situation: are you teaching your church leaders to be board members or customers?


Lead On!