Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More on the Board Meeting Evening

I had several people who were concerned I would be blindsided by issues that would be raised at my first board meeting. Due to a number of factors giving has been down the last few years, and in order to balance the budget, mission support has been cut. There are people who are very upset about that. As we talked about the budget yesterday, it was reported that one man was ready to leave the church over it, and demanded that there be a written policy for mission funding. I led the board in outlining the criteria they use for budgeting, starting with the need to have a balanced budget. That information will be passed on to the congregation with the budget, as well as the actual committee requests. Finance committee was actually able to give mission a little more than was requested and cut other areas of the budget, which shows the commitment to mission. (Mission is still 19% of the budget, so it's not like we don't support it). I also told the board it was important not to let individuals hold us hostage with threats to leave, and it was fine to say to the man, "I'm sorry you feel that way, and we would miss you, but you need to do what is right for you." That response seems to stop those threats right away.
We talked about ways to handle other issues, and I told them how important it is that views and perspectives be expressed openly in the meeting. I told them I wanted to bring the parking lot meetings into the meeting. I assured them that I was open to whatever they had to say. We talked about how to handle complaints they might here about me: "Have you talked to her about it?" "May I go with you to talk to her about it?" "If you aren't willing to talk to her, we don't need to be having this conversation."
The platform at the front of the church was removed by my predecessor, who was tall. I'm vertically challenged, and some people are concerned they can't see me. They want the platform back. I told them I'm a klutz, but that I'd like to give it a month, since once I become more comfortable I will be moving around more. If, after a month, there are still concerns, I'm willing to bring the platform back. They liked that idea.
We will have an extended meeting in January for training, prioritizing, and planning for the year. They were very open to that idea. I promised them I'd limit the extended meeting to once a year. Apparently my predecessor had a fondness for doing Saturday workshops.
The children's sermon is coming back to worship beginning in November. They were going to schedule volunteers to do it (which apparently was a problem last time). I explained that I would like to do the majority of them because it is a great way for me to build relationships with the children. They thought that was wonderful, and so I'm doing all of them. I reminded them of the importance of letting the website coordinator know about plans and changes. It was over a 2 hour meeting, and they left happy. I think we're off to a great start.
Now the downside. I'd left Daughter in my study watching a DVD. When we got home last night, she had a low blood sugar. One of those low blood sugars that was very resistant to treatment. She woke me up in the night because she was low again. This morning I asked her if I needed to lock up the insulin when I wasn't in my study. She took 41 units last night during the meeting (more than her total daily dose). She was bored. The insulin is now locked up.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you handled the meeting very well. I'm going to use your method for dealing with people who threaten to leave with a certain paralegal. II think it would work better than threats or cajoling.
The young lady in question threatens to "go home' whenever she feels like she's overworked or criticized. Telling her that if she left she shouldn't expect to be welcomed back the next day always made me feel like a meanie and when I tried to be understanding and supportive I found I wasted too much time soothing her and listening to her complaints. Your way is much better.
What do you think was behind the question about how to handle complaints about you? That seemed weird -- sort of like there already are complaints. But maybe I misunderstood the context.
And lastly, what was your daughter thinking when she took all that insulin? Does she want to make herself sick or was it a bid for attention? You already give her loads of attention.

Reverend Mom said...

I hope it works with the paralegal. I brought up how to handle complaints-- I was providing them with tools for building a healthy congregation and board. I'm all about being open and getting issues on the table.

Daughter was bored, and wanted to get my attention. I don't think she want to hurt herself. She told me she didn't, anyway. She was careful in how much she took-- last time it was 120 units, this time only 41.