I used my board report very strategically when I was a pastor. I would include all of the standard items: reporting on progress, celebrating successes, recognizing challenges.
Then about three quarters of the way down the report, I’d slip in a throw-away line. I’d start sowing seeds: “In recent weeks I’ve been thinking more and more about….” “Lately I’ve been wondering about how we can get more engaged in our community.” “I just wanted to share that so you could be praying with me about that.”
It was akin to thinking out loud– something I’d throw out there to see what people thought. Then next month I’d add a little more. What I was doing was preparing people for next steps in the vision. Some people began reading that part of the report to see what kinds of things would be coming down the pike six months from now.
Throwing nuggets out there now and then would give people time to prepare and process and see where things were heading. Although framed as “things I’m pondering” or “just wondering” or “something I’ve been praying about lately,” most of the time I was going somewhere definite with those ideas.