Illustration by Ellen Marello
Seminary leaders and boards have considered the effect of the pandemic on class offerings and the way classes are delivered. But have we considered the effect it has had on our board members, unable to gather and experience the fullness of the community they govern – members in whom, hopefully, a greater diversity in backgrounds and perspectives is being seen?
A recent Google study found that the most important driver of group performance is the quality of the team’s interaction, not, as we might imagine, experience, intelligence, or skill. The infrequency of in-person meetings already sets a low bar for familiarity between directors.
As we continue to emerge, take stock of how your board members are bonding and how you can facilitate their working relationships. Open a meeting with a quick group check-in or with a question to further conversation during a break, grouping people in twos or threes to pray together, or incorporate more expansive time for connection during the meeting. This investment of time will be repaid in better communication, higher levels of trust, and improved board effectiveness as we further the Kingdom work we have been given.