Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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The Business Meeting

  • Jim Townsley
  • Mar 23, 2015
A church sign read, "Today's sermon: What is hell like?" Underneath the sermon title were the words "Church business meeting tonight." Some church business meetings have been alarmingly similar to that place of torment. One preacher once reported, “We had a man in our church who was born in the objective mood, negative case. No matter what we were considering he was ‘agin it.’ At one church business meeting we were discussing the prospect of building a fence around the church cemetery, and this obstreperous, cantankerous, argumentative church member rose to state his position on the matter at hand. He vociferously exclaimed, ‘I am agin it! I am agin it! Why should we build a fence around the cemetery? Do you know anyone in the cemetery who can get out; and do you know anyone outside of the cemetery who wants to get in? Why build a fence around the cemetery?’”
It may not be the most enjoyable aspect of the ministry, but running church business meetings is an important part of leading a church. Disclosure concerning finances and major decisions should involve the entire church family. Members are not needed to make every decision concerning the church, but it is important to know what decisions should be made by the church.
Scripture does not establish the frequency of business meetings. Some churches have too many meetings which often leads the church to vote about every decision of how to spend every penny. A monthly business meeting usually is not necessary. Many decisions should be made by the people delegated to make them. Unfortunately, most members are not familiar enough with the issues to make a proper decision. The church has more to do than to have business meetings. Churches should not be allowed to argue over the thermostat, the color of the carpet in the church, and whether or not to buy an Apple or IBM computer.
When starting a church the pastor will set a precedent that will establish a protocol for many years to come. I would suggest to hold an annual business meeting which will enable the church to approve a yearly budget that the pastor can follow throughout the year. If the church decides to purchase property or add staff, or make a major purchase a special meeting can be called in accord with the constitution.
In the early stages of the church a monthly financial statement should be prepared and posted or distributed to all members. Seeking advice from key people can aid the pastor in his decision making. In addition, the constitution should state a basic amount of money that can be spent without approval.
Have the church secretary take notes at the meeting. If you do not have a church secretary, ask a volunteer to do this task. Set the time and date for the meeting. Make sure the meeting time does not interfere with any other church programs. The pastor should be the moderator of every business meeting. Begin the meeting in prayer and read the minutes of the previous meeting. Old business and then new business should be discussed in that order. In our church an item must first be added to the agenda previous to the meeting before it can be brought before the church. No financial decision can be made without prior review and recommendation by the trustees. When there are no deacons or trustees a group of men could be designated to function in that capacity. This prevents rash decisions from being made in a heated business meeting. It also allows qualified people to review the validity of any proposal. Above all, follow the constitution. It is amazing how many people do not follow their own constitution. If it can't be followed it should be changed to become consistent with the operation of the church.
Many local churches become fractured by unspiritual business meetings. Pastors are fired, members storm off, meetings become filled with yelling, arguing, and taking sides. This need not happen. The business meeting should be a spiritual aspect of the church where members endeavor to make decisions that will influence souls for eternity.