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Church Business Meeting Tips

This post may be a little late for some of us, but the content could be helpful in a variety of circumstances. The following is an article adapted from Smart Church Management. I hope you find it useful!

5 Tips for a Successful Church Business Meeting
November 29, 2017 by Patricia*

1. Respect People’s Time
Most people are busy and have a limited amount of time. Being sensitive to this fact, it helps to reinforce the importance of being respectful of the attendees by beginning and ending the meeting on time.

Being timely can become a cultural norm if members understand that being late means missing the first part of the meeting.  This can be tricky, but it can be done if there is a determination to consistently begin and end every meeting at the scheduled time. Once the organization demonstrates discipline with meeting facilitation, members will feel more inclined to participate, which will increase attendance.

2. Stick to the Agenda

Every organization has unresolved issues, and members often take advantage of time together to bring them up for discussion. Spend time before the meeting anticipating possible issues that might arise and naturally work an update into the agenda. If someone attempts to hijack the meeting, politely offer to discuss at a later time to keep with the meeting agenda.

3. Assign a Time Keeper

It can be helpful to have someone designated to watch the clock and keep the presenter on the time schedule. This takes the burden off of the presenter to communicate information while watching the time. Get creative and use a bell or buzzer as a reminder of the agenda schedule. Be diligent with doing this for a few times and people will learn that when the buzzer sounds its time to move on.

4. Table off Topics

Occasionally a member might bring up a topic for discussion that doesn’t fit with the agenda. Keep a flip chart at the front of the room and make note of these outstanding items, and follow up by putting those items on the agenda for the next meeting. Some topics may require a separate meeting so be sure to follow up and schedule a time to discuss. Follow through is critical to establishing and maintaining credibility with members.

5. Note Taker

Assign someone to take notes of the meeting, particularly in follow-up of any outstanding items. If possible, send meeting notes to attendees as an additional measure of communication and accountability for follow-up. Once things are in print, it becomes more difficult to neglect follow-up steps. Finally, employees, church members and volunteers are the lifeblood of the church.  Members fund the church, volunteers do the work of the church and employees facilitate the process. This is why it so important to maintain good communication and information sharing.  Being deliberate and strategic with meeting planning is one way to honor those who support the church and include them in the process.