It may not be your favorite part of your job, but running church business meetings is an important part of a leading a church. Although not necessarily exciting, these meetings let the congregation see the financial statements, growth numbers, and ministry updates for the church. Major decisions regarding the direction of the church are made at business meetings, and they help establish the overall direction and vision for the congregation.
Take Care of the Logistics
Set the time and date for the meeting. Make sure the meeting time does not interfere with any other church programs. Schedule a quarterly business meeting once every three months, and an annual business meeting once a year.
Set the location of the meeting. The meeting should be held on the church property. Set up tables and chairs in the fellowship hall or reception room. Set up enough seats to accommodate one third of your congregation, but have extra chairs on hand if necessary. If you do not have a fellowship hall or reception room, have the meeting in the sanctuary.
Invite people to the meeting. A general announcement can be made to the entire congregation. Send out a specific invitation to other church staff, deacons, elders, and leaders of the individual ministries such as the senior ministry director, choir leader or planning committee chairman.
Create the Agenda
Have the church treasurer give a report on the financial statements of the church. This should include bank account balances, reports on any church investments and a brief review of the church budget.
Allow time for each church ministry department to give a report on what has been happening in their specific programs. This would include the youth ministry, children's ministry, outreach ministry, and any church committees.
Discuss old business. This will give the congregation the opportunity to address any action items that were decided on at the last business meeting or resolve any outstanding issues.
Introduce new business. This is the point where new plans will be discussed and ideas for ministries or changes to the church program or direction will be introduced.
Determine action items. These are tasks that will be decided upon at the actual meeting, and will be accomplished before the before the next business meeting.
Run the Meeting
Open in prayer.
Give everyone a copy of the agenda.
Follow the agenda, item by item. Make it clear when you are moving from one topic to the next. For example, "That concludes the discussion on the church building fund. Now we will hear a report from the youth pastor."
Allow time for discussion. Make sure that everyone has the chance to speak. If you notice that one person is dominating the conversation, specifically ask if anyone else has something to share. Do this tactfully, but make it clear that you want to hear from more than just one person.
Thank everyone for attending the meeting, and give them the date for the next one.
Close in prayer.
Have the church secretary take notes at the meeting. If you do not have a church secretary, ask a volunteer to do this task.
Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.