KEYWORDS: board, people, lord, everybody, idea, meetings

Board Vision Training Videos, Part 4

Peter A.

Transcription of Video #4

By Peter A.CM/FM 3409 12/01

1. (Prays: ) Thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! We love You, sweet Love. We praise You and thank You for Your love for us, how You do so many miracles for us all the time, Lord, and how You keep and protect us. We're so thankful, Lord! We pray for all of our loved ones that are at home, and these ones here, who are away from home now. We ask that You keep their loved ones and strengthen them. Help everything to go well. Give them peace and safety and security while these ones are away.

2. Please bless this meeting now as we continue covering these various points, and again, I claim the power of Your keys, Jesus. I ask that You please pour out Your Spirit upon me as I try to convey these points to these who are entering into this new job. Please help these videos and these talks to be a blessing and a strength to them, and please anoint me as I speak, in Jesus' name. We love You, Lord! We really, really love You, Jesus.

3. Okay, well, I don't know if you're watching these all on the same day or how you're doing it, so we try to get some prayer in there at the beginning of each one. Because I don't want it to look like I'm starting a meeting without prayer. God forbid! We all need lots of prayer.

4. Last time we finished up talking a bit about board members—about you—and about how we need you, and your initiative, and what you should do. Now we'll move on just briefly to the board meetings themselves. I'll touch on some things here, and as we go on in these meetings we'll get into some more specifics about it. Thank You Lord!

5. You're going to be having these board meetings, and we set up what we called "The Board Meeting Rules of Order." It's in the Board Handbook. We worked on those for a reason. Some of them, as you go over them, might seem a little bit corny. Like you have to have the agenda ahead of time, and you have to call the meeting to order, then you have to agree upon the agenda, and all of these sorts of things. Well, we did it that way so that there would be order within the board meetings.

6. We'll look at this again later on down the line and see if it's really necessary, but for starters we thought it would be good to have these various rules—like how many people have to be there, what's the voting procedure, how do you determine the agenda—all of this—so that there's no question, there's no argument or disagreement within the board itself. This way, there are the rules and you just follow them; it's very simple. They won't take that much time. But then you can know that everything's being taken care of in decency and in order, which is important.

7. You're going to get in these board meetings and you're all different people, you all have different ideas‚ and you're different personalities. You're going to have people who are real fast moving. You're going to have people who are real slow and prayerful. You're going to have people who are in between. You're going to have shy people; you're going to have boisterous people. You're going to have abrasive people. You're going to have humble people, proud people, all kinds of different people, and you're going to sit there and you're going to have to discuss and pray and come up with the Lord's solutions to things.

8. So we felt that having the rules for the meetings themselves is kind of like having the Charter; you can kind of stand on that and say‚ "Well, this is the way it is." Even if somebody there wants to do it a different way, you can say, "Well‚ these are the rules, this is how we're going to do it." So‚ please, when you have your meetings‚ follow the rules of order. I'm not going to discuss each of the rules of order. You should read them.

9. You who are on the boards really should know your Board Handbook. It's going to take a little extra studying. You should also know the GNs‚ and what's expected of you. But the Board Handbook really has the rules and the regulations and all the rest, so please be familiar with it. I'm not going to talk about each one of them [Board Meeting Rules of Order]; there are seven or eight major things‚ but I do want to talk about the first two.

10. The first one is using prophecy. It says, and I'll quote it here: "All decisions made by the board should be confirmed with the Lord. These confirming prophecies must be sent to the chairperson of the upper board along with the minutes of the meeting containing the decisions made by the board." Then the point under that says, "If the members assigned to hear from the Lord on the decision receive seemingly conflicting prophecies, the question should be brought to the Lord for further clarification."

11. At the end of the day‚ after you have discussed things, you're going to vote on whether to do this or not. But before you actually put your decision into action, some members of your board need to pray and hear from the Lord to get a confirmation. That's not to say that's the only time you should pray and hear from the Lord during your meetings. You should have prayer and hear from the Lord at the beginning of a meeting as well, to see if the Lord has any words of encouragement or direction or guidance for you to start with.

12. At the summit, we have a lot more people than are going to be on your board, but sometimes there's quite a difference of opinion, and we'll ask a few people to just stop and go hear from the Lord about it and we'll discuss it further later. Often the prophecies really clarify the issue and help us to get a unanimous or close to unanimous decision.

13. It's very important to hear from the Lord. If you're not praying and you're not hearing from the Lord in your board meetings or about your decisions, then you're probably not going to be making really good decisions. You should pray without ceasing. You should pray in the meetings. At the minimum, every decision has to be prayed about, and somebody needs to hear from the Lord about it, or a few people, so that you can really have faith that that's what the Lord was leading you to do.

14. From time to time you will probably get prophecies that seem conflicting. Well, when that happens, then you're going to have to talk about it as a board and you're going to have to go back and pray and ask the Lord further about it, and ask Him to explain the conflict, etc. If it's something that you can't resolve, then you'll probably have to send it to your regional board chairman and ask him to pray and to give you counsel on that. But the point is that you really need to hear from the Lord about your decisions. You need to. That's official!

15. When you send the minutes of your meeting to the board above you, which lists the decisions that you made, you need to include the prophecies. That's very important. When you build a structure like this which is business and moving forward and doing a lot of things, it's very easy to kind of get in the business mode and forget the Lord, or not give the Lord due deference, or give Him the opportunity to share His opinion on the situation. Please, that's very important! We can't stress that enough.

16. The second point on the Board Meeting Rules of Order is "The members' rights in a meeting." It says that, "All members of the board have equal rights, privileges, and obligations. One of the chairperson's main responsibilities is to use the authority of the chair to ensure that all those attending the board meeting are treated equally." Now the chairman of the board is the guy who is going to chair the meetings. He is going to run the meetings. He'll probably call on different ones and say, "You raised your hand. Okay‚ what do you have to say?" etc.

17. First off you have to understand‚ as it says, that all members of the board have equal rights‚ privileges, and obligations. The chairman does not have any more authority or any more rights than other members of the board. He's just the guy who is there to run the meetings and probably to take care of some of the follow–up later, and do some of the work of passing things on, etc. In the meeting he can say‚ "Let's move on to the next point," etc.‚ but he does not have more say. His vote doesn't count for any more than yours. If everybody votes one way and the chairman votes the other way‚ the vote passes, because the majority voted for it. Of course, again, it needs to be confirmed with the Lord.

18. Everybody has equal rights within the board meetings, so you all have the right to speak up. The chairman should treat everybody equally. And for you guys who are going to be chairmen, it says, "One of your main responsibilities is to use the authority of the chair to ensure that all those attending a board meeting are treated equally." Well‚ what does that mean? What it means is if you've got Mr. Shy over here, and on the other side of the meeting you have Mr. Enthusiasm or Mr. Talker, well, your responsibility is to make sure that Mr. Talker doesn't dominate the whole meeting, and that Mr. Shy gets his two cents' worth said. You have to make sure that you're letting everybody have their say.

19. The next point in this says, "Every matter presented for a decision should be discussed fully. The right of every member to speak on any issue is as important as each member's right to vote." You're in the meeting, and again, Mr. Chairman, it's your responsibility to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to speak. As it says here, it's just as important that everybody can say how they feel about it and bring up their points as it is to have their vote on it.

20. As a chairman, that's not always so easy, because you also have a vote, and you're also involved in the discussion and you have an opinion too, and you have equal rights with the others in that you can state how you feel. So you have to have the knack to be able to not get too wrapped up in the discussion that you forget about, "well, so-and-so over here hasn't had his say," or you're letting so-and-so go on and on and on because you kind of agree with him, but you don't really agree with the guy over here so much, so you don't give him the opportunity to speak.

21. All of you have the right to speak, and it shouldn't come to a vote until you all feel that you've had your say, and that everybody has said how they feel about it and has presented their position on the issue. That's really important. Super important! I like the way it's put here: "The right of every member to speak on any issue is as important as each member's right to vote." So that's a major.

22. You guys who are going to be board chairmen have certain responsibilities. And when I say "you guys," I know some of you are going to be women; I mean "you folks" who are going to be board chairmen. You have to realize that your say is not any more important than their say. Your opinion is not more important than the other person's opinion. And you that are on the board have to understand that too. I don't know how the dynamics of your board are going to be, but I know that in some situations, if the guy who's the chairman is kind of a powerful or strong personality‚ you might tend to think, "Oh‚ well‚ he knows more." That's not the way it is. You all have the right to speak‚ you all have the right to vote, and then you have to have it confirmed.

23. So don't be afraid! Don't be afraid if you don't agree. You don't have to agree with everybody else. In fact, in some ways it's good if in the initial discussions somebody isn't in agreement, because that brings up the other side of the picture.

24. I'm going to jump to a point that I was going to talk about later: One, in the discussions you don't always have to be in agreement and you can bring up various sides, and it's good that you do. I know that in some of the meetings I have with some of the folks that I counsel with‚ from time to time I'll argue the opposite of how I feel, just because I want to get the issues out there. In other words, the point is, it's not trying to prove that you're right—it's trying to find God's will, to find out what's going to work. And you can't do that if you're so busy pushing your point of view, especially as the chairman.

25. You can't be pushing how you feel about it and really trying to argue your point, because if you're doing that, you're not being objective enough to listen to others and to try to incorporate some of their ideas or grasp why they're coming from that position. They're representing an idea. It might be different than your idea, but in the end it might be truly the best idea, and you don't want to be shutting it out just because it's not your idea.

26. So everybody on the board needs to be flexible enough and open-minded enough to really listen to what the other guy is saying, and not to just keep pushing your point and pushing your point. This isn't a debating contest; it's really just trying to find the Lord's will.

27. I've seen this happen many times at summits. At the summit usually you're dealing with about 40 or so people, and it can be pretty taxing. You go on for a long time and everybody's giving their ideas and how they feel about it‚ and everyone is not always in agreement. I've chaired a lot of those meetings, and when I'm chairing a big meeting that size, I usually don't tell people how I feel; I don't argue any points, I just listen it out. I'll come in with some things once in a while, but often I'll add to what somebody has just said, and sometimes it's on one side of the argument and another time it's on the other side of the argument. So when you've got a meeting that big, like I said‚ I don't always let everybody know what I'm thinking, because I don't want to be influencing. I don't want them to be voting just because they think I'm thinking that way.

28. But what I've seen happen a number of times on pretty big major issues is that sometimes you've discussed it for two or three hours and you're kind of tired of discussing it. Pretty much everybody's in agreement and everybody's thinking, "Yes, we really ought to do that; that's the best thing to do." Then somebody will raise their hand over on the other side—you're just about ready to vote and close it down—and they say, "Well, I have a question." And you're kind of feeling like, "Oh‚ man, everybody is in agreement; don't bring up any questions!"

29. And sure enough, I've seen it happen many times, the person will bring up a question and everybody will go, "Whoa! Man! We didn't think of that!" And pretty soon the vote goes the whole other way, because somebody had the guts to disagree with everybody and brought out a really strong, good point that everybody had missed. The Lord anointed that person to remember that, or probably some spirit helper was trying to get through to all of us and we weren't getting it. And let me tell you, at the end of a two- or three-hour discussion when you've been there with 40 people and you've been hearing all the things and you've got basically a consensus and everybody is going to vote one way, to raise your hand and say, "I do have this one question," takes a lot of guts! But it has saved the day from time to time. And like I said, at every summit that happens at least once or twice.

30. As much as in my heart when a guy is raising his hand I'm thinking, "Oh my God! I'm at the end of it‚" I thank God that he did it! So, please, you have to speak up, and if you're the chairman, you have to allow everybody to speak up. You can't get so wrapped up in your opinion that you're shutting other people out or you're not letting them speak. Everybody has the right to speak and it's very, very important that they do speak.

31. When you're in a meeting it's very important to listen, to be a good listener. You're going to have your turn, you're going to be able to say what you want to say‚ so just listen to what the other person is saying. Tune in and try to take the good points that he's bringing up too. Because even if you're not so in agreement, or even if it's going against what you're going to say or what you just said‚ your job isn't to try and get your ideas through. Your job is to get the Lord's ideas‚ to get the consensus‚ to get the best‚ most workable plan. And oftentimes that is a mixture of your idea, and that person's idea‚ and this person's idea. That's how it usually is. So it's very important that you listen and that you don't shut them out because they're disagreeing with you. That's really important.

32. You will have trouble with that if you're somebody who's in there trying to push your program, or you have your own agenda or your personal hobbyhorse. "Well, I always thought the Homes should do that, so now is my opportunity"—and you just won't listen to other people. You've got to listen. You've got to come in with an open heart and an open mind.

33. Yes, you have opinions, and yes, you have your ideas and counsel, and that's good. You need to express those things. But you can't let it be the driving force—your idea, your program. Because if it is, you're going to cause conflict in your board, and you're not going to be happy, and you're not going to be listening‚ and people are going to get offended because it's going in one ear and out the other ear and it's having no effect. You have to really listen together. Tune in, and don't just space out waiting for your turn to talk again.

34. Another thing about these meetings is, as I said earlier, there are a lot of different personalities in meetings. Part of your leadership training, or part of what you're going to have to learn is how to handle opposing opinions to yours gracefully and lovingly. I have people disagree with me a lot when we have business meetings, or I disagree with them a lot. When you get five or six or seven people discussing an issue, there are a lot of things that I don't agree with. But you have to sit and listen. And even if the guy is boisterous or pushy, or even if she's slow to talk and it takes forever for him or her to say what they want to say, you just have to listen. You have to let them have their say.

35. And if they don't agree with you, well, you just have to learn to take it and not let it offend you. And the key to that, in my opinion, is, don't let your argument or your point become personal. I've seen it happen. If it's personal—"this is my issue and I want to get this through"—when that happens, when it's personal and the other guy is disagreeing with you, then the disagreement gets personal and you kind of get offended at him.

36. You should be able—and like I said, I've done this before—you should be able to argue the other side, probably as good as the other guy is able to argue it. You should not be so hung up on your personal opinion or your personal hobbyhorse or your personal program that you get angry when somebody is opposing you. If you do‚ if you have those feelings of anger or resentment or pride‚ "I've got to show them that I'm right‚" then you've got problems. Then you are having a problem in that meeting. You are not being objective.

37. You have to go into these meetings objectively. You have to listen objectively‚ because if you don't, it's kind of like receiving a prophecy—if you've got your mind made up that "this is the way it's going to be‚" well, the Lord's not really going to get through to you because you're not a clear channel. You're all full of yourself.

38. So you're going to have to come to these meetings and bring opposing ideas! There's nothing wrong with opposing ideas; you want them, but you have to know how to handle them. You have to take it gracefully, and you can, if it's not personal. But‚ boy‚ if you get angry and stuff, you know it's personal, and you need to stop, and maybe you need to ask for prayer, or to ask to take five, and go get some fresh air and pray and ask the Lord to be yielded, to let go of your personal idea for the betterment of everybody.

39. If your idea is good, it'll stand on its own. It doesn't need you yelling and pushing and prodding and arguing. If it's a good idea, you'll explain it and all of that‚ and people will see that it's a good idea. After discussion and everything, it might get modified, but it'll really stand—it'll stand the test. But if it's an idea that's not very good, but you're trying to push it and push it and push it, God help you, because you don't really want bad ideas being put into decisions and being implemented to the Homes. So, please, don't let it get personal.

40. Be open. Be Spirit-led. Sometimes people are going to disagree with you kind of vehemently, or maybe it's personal to them and they're kind of attacking you. Well, love covers a multitude of sins. Love is the key. Just be loving. Don't get into arguments. You shouldn't have arguments.

41. In some of the meetings that I hold with my counselors, we disagree, we look at things from different points of view, but seldom has there ever been an argument. Because everybody there knows that we're really trying to find out the Lord's will. We're trying to find out what's best for the Family, what's the best decision. I don't really care if my idea gets taken. If the other guy's idea is better‚ praise God. At the end of the day, that's the best decision, so let's go with that. And that's what you're there to try to find out. So please‚ don't let it become personal.

42. And the other thing, kind of an outcropping of that, is that you might argue or discuss your points and you really feel like you've made your case, and here comes the vote, and people vote a different way than your idea. So now the board has voted and the decision has been made, and it was not what you wanted it to be. Well‚ that's the end of it. It's not something you should keep fighting and keep arguing and saying, "Why are you doing this!" You should have discussed it all out, and when the time comes for the vote‚ you vote, and that's the way it goes‚ and then let it go. Support it. Not just kind of like, okay‚ but support it. That's the board's decision. That's what the body of the board‚ the entity of the board has decided is the thing to do, so you should support it.

43. If it's such an issue that you can't support the issue and you feel that you can't do it, well, then you have to pray about whether you should continue on with the board. But whatever it is, you shouldn't start going around saying, "Man, I had another idea and the board guys didn't agree with me." What happens in the board meeting happens in the board meeting and it stays in the board meeting. You just have to accept it.

44. This is something in my working with Dad and Mama over the years that I was so thankful about—I always knew that until the final decision was made that it was still open for discussion. So that gave me a lot of leeway with the Folks. Sometimes Dad would say, "Let's do this," and I would agree with it. But then he'd say, "Let's implement it this way," but I would maybe think to implement it a different way. So I would discuss, I would write him, and as long as the decision hadn't been finalized, I knew that I could speak about it. But once the decision was made, then I had faith that they'd heard my opinion, they'd prayed about it, the Lord had shown them what to do and that's what they were going to do, and at that point, my opinion and how I felt about it didn't matter anymore. I was there and I was supportive, and I would implement it the way the decision was made. And that's the attitude you should have too.

45. You're on the board, the vote hasn't been taken‚ so you can discuss and counsel and give your ideas. But once the decision is made, then the decision is made. So don't have a problem with it. Again, if you do, if it's been so personal, then you've probably got a problem.

46. I guess it's like what we said earlier—we're looking for what's right, not who's right. If you have that attitude going into your meetings, you'll do okay. But if you're trying to be right and be seen as being right, you're going to have problems.

47. Another thing is that you are going to have people who are stronger personalities, and you're going to have people who are more quiet type of personalities in the same meetings. It's very important—we said it earlier, but I'll repeat it—that the chairman, or not just the chairman, but everybody, draws out the quiet people. Because often they have tremendous ideas, but it's not their personality to fight to get their ideas out there. Whereas other people, they don't have a problem with getting their opinion out there. But other people, it's a little bit difficult for them.

48. Again, your boards are probably not going to be that big, and you're going to be aware of everybody's personality, and it's important that everybody takes the initiative and the time to draw the shier people out, the people who aren't so prone to speak‚ to hear what they have to say. Often they're like the wise old owl. I forget the poem‚ but it's something like "the less he spoke, the more he heard; I wish I was like that wise old bird." Sometimes they really have good things to say and you'll miss them if you don't draw them out. So‚ chairmen, that's part of your job. But that should be everybody's job. Everybody should want to hear from each other.

49. A little along the same lines is the need to keep your pride in check, and that goes along with not letting things get personal and all the rest. You need to be loving in these meetings. You need to try to be humble in these meetings. Because again, everybody is not there just to hear you talk. Everybody is there to find the Lord's will, and that requires counsel and consensus and hearing from each other. So please, those of you who are a little on the stronger personality side, please try to keep it toned down and don't let your excitement get the best of you.

50. Conversely, you that are on the shy side‚ or prone to not speaking out, or have a difficult time contradicting other people or bringing up other opposing opinions, you also need to overcome that. If you're going to be on the board, you're there to talk. You're there to counsel. You're there to bring up all different points of view so that you can see all the points of view on the table‚ and then through that, and through prayer, of course‚ come to the solutions that cover all of that. But if you're too shy or you feel so–and-so is strong so you don't want to say something or contradict them, well, then you're not really being a help on the board. You might actually cause your board to miss the Lord's highest because you didn't bring up some point.

51. Like the guy in the summit meeting I just told you about who raises his hand against all opposition and says, "Well‚ what about this?" and it changes the course of history, if you will. Same thing, the Lord might call on you to do that. So you have to overcome that shyness or that reluctance. A lot of people don't like confrontation, but opposing opinions don't have to be confrontational. They shouldn't be confrontational; they should just be the airing of views. But a lot of people have a hard time going against what others are saying, especially if the other person who is saying it is a good debater or a good speaker. You just have to overcome that and say it anyway.

52. And you who are good debaters and good speakers and strong personalities have to keep yourself in check. You have to try to be humble and realize that it's important to hear from other people. I'm sorry to harp on this, but one of the key points of making the boards work is the interaction of the board members with one another. You need to have good interaction.

53. After you have a few board meetings, you'll understand the personalities of the different people, if you don't already, and you'll see who needs to be tempered. "Yes, well, that's a good idea, but we don't have to hear it at 3,000 decibels. Calm down." And, "Hey‚ so-and-so, you haven't said anything for a while. What about you? Do you have an opinion?" You'll get used to it, but it's very important that you learn to interact well with each other‚ and that you keep your pride in check if you're one of these people who really like to get out their ideas.

54. Also, if you're real shy, you have to keep that side of pride in check as well and do your part. Because as I said earlier, if you're just going to sit there and you're never going to say anything‚ then you're not going to be real helpful on the board. You have to talk some. But you have to talk in love, and you can't let it be personal. And you have to do it in humility. And you have to listen to each other.

55. Another thing too‚ when you're presenting your ideas—how do you present them? Well, there have been older GNs and different writings in FSMS about teamworking and how to present things. Don't present your ideas like, "Well‚ this is the answer! I know it is. Here it is. I've got the whole program all figured out. Just do what I say!" That's not how it works with boards.

56. Again, be humble. Just bring out ideas. Sure‚ they might be the way you feel about it, they might be your ideas. That's fine. But don't present it as, "Here is the full answer. Here is the way it's got to be." Because very seldom does the Lord even allow one person to come up with the grand idea that needs no change or modification. Just present it in a humble and sweet manner: "What about this? Here's an idea. Here's something we could do. What do you all think?" Because that puts others in the position of being able to express their opinion without feeling like they have to contradict you as a person.

57. You're out there for ideas. You're out there to find the Lord's will, and you don't want conflict. When I discuss with Matthew and the others‚ like I said, we don't always agree initially. We have different ideas, varying points of view‚ but it isn't conflict, it isn't argument. It's just basically discussion. And you can discuss ideas civilly. I know in those kinds of meetings, if somebody comes up with a really strong point and I can tell it's kind of personal or it's really strongly presented, it's even hard for me to contradict it, because I feel like I'm not contradicting the idea, I'm contradicting the person, and that makes it much more difficult.

58. So when you present things, try to get the idea out there without a lot of your personal wrapping on it. Because again, people don't mind contradicting or debating or bringing up other points of view when everybody knows it's just a point of view; it's not personal. It's not the person that you're debating, you're talking about a different idea, and they can take that. But it's pretty difficult for shy people or nonconfrontational people to disagree with something when somebody has kind of wrapped their idea all up in themselves, making it very personal. So please be very careful about that.

59. It's going to take some people-handling skills in these meetings, and it's going to take love. You're going to have to be prayerful.

60. Another point is sensitivity. You can't be sensitive, and this kind of goes along with making your points personal. If people start picking your idea apart or saying they don't agree with it and adding their idea, you can't get sensitive about it. You can't get offended. Because if you do, what will happen, or what could happen, is that either they won't speak up anymore, and then just your ideas are going to go through—which might make you feel good‚ but it might not make you feel so good if the ideas don't work later on down the line because they weren't the best ideas. Or it's going to make others compromise in order to keep you happy.

61. If they say, "I don't agree," and you say, "Oh‚ man, how can you not agree with me!" Or you just get sensitive or you shut up or you walk out of the room because they're not agreeing—well, then you're going to have people agreeing with you just because they don't want to have problems with you, or they don't want to have an argument‚ or they don't want to see you get upset or stop talking for the rest of the meeting because you got all sensitive about it. That will mean that your board is coming up with crummy decisions.

62. Or when it comes to a vote, if you've made your plea so strong and so personal, they'll feel like they're almost shooting you if they raise their hand to vote against you! Or they think you're going to be mad at them for the rest of their life, or you're going to talk negatively against them. Well‚ maybe they're not so strong about it‚ so they say, "Okay, well, I'll just vote with him just because I don't want the trouble that I'm going to get if I vote against his idea." Well, that's really‚ really bad. That's not how you want to be making decisions in these boards.

63. Everybody on the board has to be prayerful, loving‚ and understanding of each other. You can't be sensitive about people not taking your ideas. You can't be pushing your ideas. Because if you're sensitive or if you push your ideas, your board is going to suffer. And worse than that, the Homes in your area are going to suffer because you've made bad decisions, and it's going to be perhaps because of you. Either because you were sensitive and people are just voting to keep you happy, or because you were pushy, or you made it so personal that people didn't want to disagree with you. They disagreed with your idea, but they didn't want to disagree with you as a person, so they didn't feel free to vote the way they should have. Or conversely, if you're on the shy side, if you're not doing your job of standing up to these guys that are that way sometimes, well, then you're to blame too.

64. So everybody just has to tone it down and speak to each other in love. Don't be sensitive if your ideas don't get taken this time, because they'll get taken next time and the other guy's idea won't. It's no big deal. It's not a pissing contest, like they say, to see who can pee the farthest! It's a situation where you're just trying to find God's will. And if you will do that in love, and if you will listen to each other, and if you will respect each other, and respect each other's opinions … even if they're not taken in the end‚ you have to respect that the others have an opinion and they have the right to express it, and they have the right to express it in a nonconfrontational situation. And that's really important. I can't tell you how important that is, because it will affect the decisions your board makes.

65. So please, it's a lot of people-handling here, and the best thing is that everybody is humble, and everybody is loving to each other and not making their opinions personal. Then you can deal with it. Again, with these guys that I work with, we have to discuss a lot of stuff, and we have over the years. But we've remained very good friends and we haven't offended each other, because we all understand that the objective is to find the Lord's will, to find what's best for the Family, not what feeds our own egos or shows that we have such great ideas, but just that we're finding the Lord's will. So we try, we work hard to create a climate where everybody can feel at ease expressing their opinions. If you can create that climate within your board, it will be an effective board.

66. Another thing is confidentiality. Like I said earlier, what goes on in the board room stays in the board room. What goes on in those meetings stays in the meetings. You should not go home and start talking about all of your discussions and, "Well, you know, so-and-so wanted to do it this way, and he disagreed with me‚" or "that was a real dumb idea of so-and–so" or whatever. It should stay within the board and not go out. It's not something to be talking about or gossiping about. When the decisions are made‚ they will be sent to the board above you‚ and a week later you can implement them. So even then you shouldn't be going home and saying‚ "Oh‚ we made this decision; here's what we're going to be doing." Because it might get vetoed‚ or it might get modified.

67. There has to be an air of confidentiality within the board itself so that everybody will feel free to speak and to know that everybody else isn't going to go around repeating what he said. What's talked about in there is privy to just the board. And then when the meeting's over, you really shouldn't go around saying "we're going to do this or that" until it's confirmed by the upper board. Otherwise you're going to be looking stupid, for one thing, because you're going to be telling everybody it's going to be one way, and then you may have to go back and say it got vetoed.

68. So just be quiet about it. Then when it's finalized it can be officially told to everybody. Probably the chairman will have to write something up and say, "Here are the decisions," or somehow get the information to the Homes. But don't be gossiping about what goes on inside the board meetings. It's not that you have to be so secretive like you can't say anything, like it's so selah. You can say, "We discussed various issues, and in a week when they're approved, then we'll tell everybody what they are, but for now we have to wait."

69. So as far as talking about what everybody talked about, just don't do it. Just make a commitment right now, each of you, that what goes on in the meetings and what is said in the meetings remains there. Because if you start talking or gossiping, or especially if somebody wasn't in agreement with you, you're just going to cause division, and it's going to hurt your board‚ and it's going to hurt your area. We just had prayer against division and for unity and all of that [during the united prayer and fast day], so it's better just to keep it quiet.

70. Another reason for keeping what goes on quiet, like the discussions and what so-and-so said, is that it can hurt other people. If you say, "Well, so-and-so was saying this or pushing that program but we didn't take it," well, that person you're talking to, that's all he heard. He didn't hear all of the other aspects and all the reasons why that idea wasn't taken. Maybe to him it sounds like a great idea, and, "What's the matter with the board that they didn't take that idea?" Well, if he would have been privy to all of the discussion, he probably would have agreed and thought it wasn't such a good idea, and that the other idea is better.

71. If you get out there and start giving people little snippets, it's going to cause confusion and probably some hurt, and it's not going to help the board. So please, just be prayerful about that. Please be committed to keeping it in-house so that everybody can feel free to speak up and speak their minds without the fear that they're going to get criticized by other people outside who weren't in the meeting, but who get information from somebody who was in the meeting. That's a real major no-no. Please try not to speak up like that.

72. One last thing: I don't know exactly how it's going to work with your boards and your communication with the upper board. But as I said earlier, your regional board chairman is going to be coming around from time to time and he's going to be counseling with you. Maybe you're not all having a meeting, but he's in town and he'll meet with this board member in one Home, and later he'll meet with that board member in another Home—just to communicate and see how things are going and offer advice and counsel.

73. And all of you certainly have the right and the opportunity to write to the regional board chairman, if you want to, and share points of view or share ideas and things like that. But it's very important that when you do, if you're writing the regional board chairman with an idea that you have, well, it's important that you express that it's your idea; it's not an idea that the whole board has discussed. This is especially true for national chairman to regional chairman communications. When the national board chairman communicates with the regional board chairman, he has to be careful that he makes it clear when he's just expressing his personal opinion as opposed to when he is expressing the board's vote. Otherwise that can confuse the regional chairman and he'll be thinking, "The board decided this or the board thought that," when really it's just one person's idea. Or maybe it's your idea that you wrote.

74. Just be careful to clarify in your communications when something is a personal opinion and when it is the opinion of the board so that there is no confusion there.

75. There will be other issues that we'll talk about in the next meetings about your interactions with the Homes‚ your interaction within your own Home, as well as other exciting topics. So praise the Lord! I hope this has been a help. I hope I haven't offended anybody. Maybe you're one of the guys who is a strong personality. Or maybe you're one of the shy types. Well, I'm sharing this with you so that you can be better board members and really be used of the Lord.

76. Because again, like I said earlier, we really need you. We need your help. We need your counsel. And the way to get good counsel and to get good help for us and for the Homes is if you, in your meetings, conduct yourselves in the proper manner. So if you're shy‚ or if you're boisterous, or if you're pushy, or whatever you are personally, you should probably take some time and ask the Lord what you can do to overcome whatever your personal weakness is, how you can overcome that. What can you do to be a better board member? What areas can you work on so that your board meetings go more smoothly?

77. Please pray about these things, and when the Lord shows you what to do, then work on it so that your boards will be a blessing to your area. Amen? Praise the Lord! God bless you! I love you so much. We really are praying for you and are very thankful for you! Praise God!

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