Thursday, June 14, 2007

Book #11 - The Imperfect Board Member

I just finished reading my eleventh book of the year - The Imperfect Board Member: Discovering the Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence by Jim Brown. The book is written in the same format as Patrick Lencioni's books. There is a story that has the point of the book woven throughout it. Then at the end of the book is the explanation of the point. As I am working with the Church Council at Charter Oak Church this book is invaluable. It gave me a completely different understanding of what my role is and what the role of Church Council is. I am thinking about purchasing a copy for everyone on our Council.

One of the real values of this book is that there is a website that goes along with it. The conversation doesn't end at the end of the book. The author is seeking to continue the work that was started. I love that. I can continue to learn. When I have a specific question or issue, I can go directly to the website and find some direction.

If you read this book from a church's perspective, every time you read CEO, replace it with pastor. Every time you read board of directors, replace it with Church Council. I think this book will add incredible value into any pastor's leadership development.


Keith McIlwain said...

I'm finding that more and more books I read are pointing me to websites to continue the conversation. That's great use of a tool. I wonder if we in the Church can't utilize the web for more than just "here are our worship times", "here are our Sunday School classes"? Maybe we could have sermon follow-up or continuing Bible studies or something.

Great to see you at Conference. You, your family, and Charter Oak remain in our prayers.

Jim Brown said...


A friend from Atlanta read your blog and forwarded the link. I'm so thankful that you have found The Imperfect Board Member helpful! What a joy it is to hear of leaders--in all walks of life--who are getting new perspective on their board work and new hope that it can be effective.

I'm very pleased that you can see the direct application of the principles in the book to church boards. You may have guessed that I am a committed Christian. I certainly long for church leaders to raise the bar of board excellence. God paints a picture of the work of the elders' board being "a joy" (see Heb 13:17). It's a sad reality that "joy" is not the word most pastors think of when someone mentions the church board!

I am thankful that you took time to encourage others to read the book. And, because I believe that the church is the hope of the world, let's believe more and more church board members will hear of the book and read it! You can imagine my delight when Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Community Church exclaimed his endorsement of the book:

Most books about boards are yawns. The few that are readable often lack substance. The Imperfect Board Member is unique in that it is both captivating and truly helpful. Every leader should read it.

I pray you, the leaders at Charter Oak Church, and all your readers press into God for His wisdom and His strength as you walk out The Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence.

Chris Whitehead said...


We have been in conversation for over a year about what our "dream" web site would look like. The trick is to keep the site simple, but provide the information that is needed by those who use it.

Look at the difference between Google and Yahoo. Google has more information than any other search engine, yet it doesn't want to have more than 25-35 words on their home site. Yahoo on the other hand, just puts as much information on their homepage as possible. Which is used more? Google.

How we present information is just as important as what information we put on the website.

Chris Whitehead said...


I am blown away that you found my blog and actually posted a comment. Thank you for writing The Imperfect Board Member. I know it will help our congregation go to a new level of leadership as our board leads effectively.

Do you ever do any work with churches that are seeking to make the leap you describe in your book? I am excited to start the process of implementing the seven disciplines.

Thanks to leaders and authors like you, the church is becoming better able to be the hope of the world through Jesus.

Jim Brown said...


I'm blown away when authors of books I love have read my book and told me how much they like it... Stephen Covey, Pat Lencioni, Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren, Ram Charan, John Beckett,... But it turns out that most people who write books are pretty much regular people!

Sure, we work with churches and love to see them take steps forward. Let's talk more about how that can work. Contact me directly at

Blessings to you!

Tom Beagan said...

I have just ordered the book. I am looking forward to how this may affect our ministry.

Chris Whitehead said...

I talked to one of our board members today and even used some of the things I learned from this great book. I told her that I am going to get a copy for everyone and she seemed genuinely pleased.

Jim, I will connect with you by the end of the week.