Governance is about administration, procedures, policies, and decision making. It incorporates your constitution and bylaws at a minimum. These give clarity and order to the role of the pastor, board committees, and the members—all doing ministry together. This is often a topic that is seldom studied or discussed by church boards. Having a good working knowledge of church governance is important for a church to function well.
Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership, is an excellent book to use as a reference about church governance. Hotchkiss identifies three criteria for measuring the effectiveness of governance in churches. They are ‘A unified structure for making governance decisions, a unified structure for making operational decisions, and an open, creative, and accountable atmosphere for ministry.’
Dan Hotchkiss, Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership, 2nd ed. (Lamhan, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009, 264 pages).