The Canadian law regulates that a charity must have a Board of Trustees. Our church organization has compiled by appointing a Board of Trustees, but there is a question on whether the parish pastor who is an employee of the church should be a member. If the parish pastor is a board member, the issue of “conflict of interest” will be raised in cognizance of the fiduciary duties of the Trustees. What is your opinion and the biblical basis for resolving this problem?
I would recommend that the pastor be a member of the Board of Trustees. In answering your question, I have assumed that the Board of Trustees has oversight responsibilities of the church and the leadership team was selected according to 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. If true, that means, the men are truly believers and serious followers of Jesus Christ. These two biblical passages outline the spiritual marks of maturity required for any man who is a church leader. If the men were selected correctly, they will not be seekers after power and control. They will have families who believe and follow after God. They will really know the Bible and be able to teach it to others. These men will be respectable, exercise self-control, and be dignified. We would encourage you to read “God’s Design For The Church,” “Marks of Spiritual Maturity,” and “Church Leadership – Function and Qualifications of Elders” These articles provide the biblical perspective in detail. If the men and the pastor are truly spiritually mature, then the pastor could be a full member of the Board of Trustees.
Unfortunately, mistakes are made too often, and men become church leaders who should never have been included. Biblically, every elder is an equal. Each elder has an equal vote and consequently a veto. Yet, when it comes to discussions about his own compensation, employment conditions, or privileges, no pastor should be allowed to participate in such discussions. If the pastor has an issue with that, then he should not be included on the board. Anyone who desires to be in control is not ready to be an elder.
Elders are characterized by humility, love, and deference to others. This does not mean that they do not have conviction and do not take stands on important issues. But there is no place for a man who wants to be king of many mountains and win every battle. No one man has complete wisdom. But a faithful pastor can bring compassion and the clarity of scripture to decisions. Remember that the process of making decisions is more important than the act of deciding.
Suggested Links:Searching For God
God's Design For The Church
Marks of Spiritual Maturity
Church Leadership – Function and Qualifications of Elders