LeaderLab

Job Descriptions for Board Officers

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By Renee Ruchotzke

How to Make Your Board Dramatically More Effective Starting Today A Board Member's Guide to Asking the Right Questions

By Gayle Gifford

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What are typical job descriptions for the officers on a congregational board? Here is summary of typical roles and responsibilities.

President (aka Moderator, Board Chair)

  • Holds overall responsibility for the integrity of the decision-making process of the board
  • Serves as primary financial signatory for the congregation
  • Sets a tone for meetings that reminds the board it is leading the mission and vision of a faith community (e.g. lighting a chalice, sharing an opening reading or hymn, checking-in on everyone's personal and spiritual lives)
  • Designs meeting agendas (in conversation with minister or executive/executive team) in alignment with annual goals
  • Sends out a board packet with the agenda and reports 5-7 days before the board meeting
  • Manages the time the board spends on its work
  • Fosters a culture of trust and transparency
  • Fosters a culture of accountability of people following through on their commitments
  • Fosters a culture of learning with ongoing educational opportunities for the board
  • Fosters a culture of hospitality and inclusion for different cultural expressions and lead in creating and articulating shared group expectations
  • Trains and on-boards new board members (this can be delegated) and next President
  • Chairs board meetings (this can be delegated or rotated)
    • Keeps meeting on track so that all business can be completed in the allotted time
    • Makes sure all voices are heard before bringing a motion to a vote

Vice President (aka Assistant, Moderator, Board Chair)

  • In the absence of the President, acts with all of the powers and functions listed above.
  • Is in regular consultation with the President so that they are ready and able to serve as needed
  • May be "president elect"
  • Often may serve as a board liaison to or a convener of a Program Council, in congregations with that format.

Secretary

  • Holds overall responsibility for the integrity of the documents created by the work of the board
  • Takes attendance at board meetings and ensures there is a quorum (defined by the bylaws) at both board and congregational meetings
  • Takes and records minutes including
    • Meeting's date & time
    • Who is in attendance
    • Reports
    • Text of motions, actions, proposed actions, decisions and assignments including movers and seconders of motions. A general but not detailed description of discussion may also be included.
    • Time the meeting adjourned
  • Sends out minutes to board members within 5-7 days after the meeting so that action items and assignments are remembered
  • Makes approved minutes available to the congregation's members
    • Gives a summary of board decisions in the congregation's news communications (may be delegated)
  • Keeps an indexed record of board-approved policies and procedures and makes them available to the congregation's members

Treasurer

  • Holds overall responsibility for the integrity of the financial oversight that is the work of the board
  • Responsible for understanding and reporting the financial status and health of the congregation
  • Provides an up-to-date concise ("dashboard") report of the congregation's financial status for review by the rest of the board
  • Responsible for proposing policies that provide secure checks and balances regarding financial matters (may be delegated)
  • Responsible for understanding and complying with the congregation's financial policies
  • Responsible for understanding and complying with the government laws and rules that apply to the congregation (may be delegated)

Recorder (optional, can be delegated)

  • Responsible for keeping an accurate record of congregational membership

All Trustees

  • Show respect and appreciation for members and staff of the congregation
  • Be familiar with the congregation's bylaws and policies
  • Regular attendance at board meetings
  • Make a financial commitment to the congregation at a leadership level
  • Agree to disagree in private but to support the decisions of the board in public
  • Keep confidentiality around personnel and other matters held in Executive Session
  • Serve in a way that the individual's gift match the needs of the congregation
  • Serve in a way that supports the president's leadership
  • Serve in a way that includes and encourages different cultural expressions and creates shared group expectations
  • Be in service and accountable to the goals, Mission, Vision and Covenant of the congregation, not one's own needs or desires.
  • Be a learner

Resources

About the Author

Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) is a Congregational Life Consultant and program manager for Leadership Development.

For more information contact .