Flatirons Elders

Boardroom Health and Succession

About The Episode

“If you don’t have a healthy elder board in a church, you might as well not have an elder board.” Meet Darryl, Justin, and Jonathan, three of the four Flatirons Elders. In a special group interview, today’s episode gives insight into what honesty and integrity look like when played out on a healthy board. Find out why a healthy team does not mean “smooth sailing.” 

Welcome to Episode 096 of the Leaders in Living Rooms Podcast with Sean Morgan.

Insights from the Flatirons Board


  • An environment free from conflict/disagreement is not always the healthiest. People might not feel comfortable bringing honesty. 
  • Disagreements are actually opportunities to show someone their value.


  • Rather than one snapshot of the perfect board, a board is healthy for its environment, because it’s relational health. 
  • Boardroom health can be measured by the integrity and honesty that happens in the room.
  • Psychological safety: It takes one to open up in honesty that creates and builds trust. 
  • Relational bond
  • No sidebar conversations; It should feel odd or imbalanced when someone is missing.


  • Listening
  • Servant mentality
  • Oftentimes, boards are about an organization performing well. There are specific guidelines on what performing well looks like. In elder boards, it’s about relational health added in.


  • Honor and respect in a board don’t mean you always agree. 
  • Create a space where you respect and care for each other even when you’re bringing higher energy to a topic or conversation.


  • It’s never too early to be thinking about what the timeline looks like for a lead pastor’s succession.
  • Outside circumstances can affect your timeline, for better or worse. 
  • Take advantage if you have the luxury of time and transition seems far off. 
  • Make space for God to prepare the soil.


  • Pray fervently and listen for the Holy Spirit to guide.
  • Hold timelines loosely if you need to pivot.
  • Utilize a third-party ally with an objective perspective to help coach you as a board.
  • Avoid echo chambers. And truly listen.


Just like a board of directors helps a company thrive, our Elders helps our staff make the best decisions for Flatirons. It also goes deeper than that. According to the Bible, an Elder protects, oversees, leads, and cares for the church. They make sure we do what we say we’re going to do and live out our values.
Contact our elders at elders@flatironschurch.com

Episode Links



If you’re a leader approaching a succession or transition. Or maybe you’re a few years in and beginning to see how complex transitions leadership is… go to The Art of Pastoral Succession and check out my brand new course in partnership with Carey Nieuwhof. 

Are you in Transition or have one on the horizon? Check out our 2023 cohorts and get connected with us at: https://theascentleader.org/cohorts/ 

Who are the Flatirons Elders?

Darryl Kelly

Darryl is here to help. Not in the weird swoop-in-from-nowhere kind of way, but in the I’ve-always-been-here kind of way. He volunteers with high school students – encouraging their leadership and challenging their way of thinking. He uses his creative gifts to capture an engaging video shot during service. He’s present with his church and the people who also call it home. He sits in several other seats – the c-suite at work, board seats for several companies, but most importantly at home with his wife, Lauren, and kids, Olivia and Noah. They are the best part of any day and he fully enjoys watching and playing with them as they ebb and flow together.

Justin Searle

Justin Searle leads the Local Government division at Wellpath. He is responsible for the administrative and operational elements of all local government teams and contracts in the United States. A former Naval officer, Justin transitioned to the private sector, has been in various healthcare environments since 2010, and joined Wellpath in 2019, moved by the mission to bring hope and healing to underserved populations. Justin received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy and his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. In terms of ministry, Justin began following Jesus at a young age which had some peaks, valleys, and everything in between. Faith truly deepened through his attendance at Flatirons where he took on more leadership roles, resulting most recently in his appointment to the Elder Board in early 2023.

Jonathan Aal

Jonathan Aal is a portfolio manager and leader of the investment research team at Smith Capital Investors, a Colorado based global fixed income asset manager. Prior to working in finance, Jonathan served in the United States Military. He is passionate for his family, outdoor adventure, and seeing men flourish as sons, fathers, husbands, and leaders.


Thanks to our sponsor: Food For The Hungry.

Combine your church’s heart for the poor and Food for the Hungry’s global experience at fh.org/churches

Quotes From Episode

“If the church is doing its job, it shouldn’t be smooth sailing.” 

“If you don’t have a healthy elder board in a church, you might as well not have an elder board.”

“Each of us brings brilliant experience to the table…it’s knowing how and when to leverage that experience and perspective.”

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About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

Sean Morgan

Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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