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Religious Institution Board Members: What Makes a Good One?

Every board officer you elect or appoint plays an important role within your religious institution board. For this reason, it is important to choose these individuals very carefully. To select the right board members for each of your officer positions, you need to consider both basic characteristics, as well as characteristics that may be desirable for those specific board officer positions. Faith-based organizations require special considerations for board members. Let’s look at a few of the recommendations.

Religious institution board members have special qualifications. Learn what traits to look for in faith-based board officers on the blog.

General Requirements of a Religious Institution Board Office

Every board office will have basic requirements. Some of these requirements include:

  • Time. Every board officer will need to be able to invest an appropriate amount of time in his or her duties. When advertising the availability of board offices, it is important to make this requirement clear, as some people may not have the free time required to serve in this capacity.
  • Interest in serving. Serving as a religious institution board officer requires a significant commitment. For this reason, it is important to make sure that any person who is elected as a board officer has a strong interest in serving. He or she must also be willing to make the required commitment.
  • Good relationships with other board members. Anyone serving as a board officer should have good interpersonal relationships with the other members of the board.
  • Representation of the board’s values. As a faith-based organization, you need to be sure that your values and beliefs are accurately represented. Every religious institution board officer should be capable of representing the organization effectively.

Characteristics of a Good Board Chair

The board chair has one of the most important roles on the board. For this reason, it is essential for this individual to possess certain characteristics that make them suitable for this position.

Some of the characteristics of a good religious institution board chair include:

  • Fairness. Your board chair will be responsible for handling sensitive issues and settling any disputes that may arise. Your board chair will also be responsible for implementing your board’s policies and enforcing rules. For this reason, your board chair needs to be someone who can be fair and reasonable when dealing with any matter related to the operation of the board or the organization itself. Of course, he or she needs to always take your faith-based approach into consideration.
  • Able to build rapport. Your board chair must be able to build rapport with other officers, other members of the board, and the congregants themselves. Be sure that the individual appointed to this position is capable of building strong, productive relationships with other people. A good board chair will also be well-respected by other members of the board, congregants, and the community.

Characteristics of a Good Board Secretary or Treasurer

Board secretaries and treasurers handle some of the most essential tasks, including the collection and maintenance of information, as well as the organization’s finances. When selecting someone for the position of religious institution board secretary or treasurer, it is important to look for someone who is efficient and thorough. These individuals must be responsible, reliable, and trustworthy.

Choosing board officers is an important job, and the officers you choose will have a significant impact on the operation of your board. That’s true for your organization as a whole, as well. When appointing or electing officers, you need to exercise care and make thoughtful decisions.


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