Effective Church Meeting Tips & Lessons

It’s 4 o’clock and the next church board meeting is in 24 hours. You have it scheduled on the master calendar, all the board members are aware, and you’re about to hit the “send” button to email your members an agenda you’ve quickly put together. But before you do, pause and have another look at the agenda. Reflect on past meetings. Were they well-organized and focused on making decisions? Or were they long, drawn-out, and out-of-control discussions? If the majority of your meetings fall into the latter category, then it’s time to re-evaluate how you plan and execute your meetings. 

Church board meetings are a necessary part of being good stewards and having a healthy church. You meet to make decisions on legal matters and church finances all of which are essential to supporting leadership and fulfilling your church’s mission. 

Church leadership requires excellent organization and people skills. So turn your next meeting from stale to steward-filled by making the best use of time and energy with these helpful tips.

1. Hold Meetings Regularly

Ensure that your members are available to make your church’s most important decisions by conducting your church meetings on a regular schedule. Having a predetermined schedule will help them know when to plan for meetings and track progress towards goals or decisions that impact your community. Even more so, having a steady schedule helps foster a harmonious relationship among members when they know when to be available for the church, their families, and their career.

2. Create an Agenda

Having a well-thought-out meeting agenda is like having GPS navigation. Everyone with access to it can see where to start, every stopping point along the way, and where it ends. It also helps to keep your board accountable for the time they have to cover upcoming issues and make decisions that affect the health of your church. 

In most churches, a typical agenda might include: 

  1. Opening prayer. 
  2. Taking attendance. 
  3. Review and approve previous board meeting minutes. 
  4. Updates on specific activities assigned to each member of the board. 
  5. Continue discussion of “old business.” 
  6. Introduction of “new business.” 
  7. Opening up the conversation to chat about items that didn’t make it on the agenda or weren’t previously discussed.
  8. Closing prayer. 

Each board member should feel they have a voice in meetings and therefore should be invited to contribute to the agenda items. Consider creating a process that allows them to submit agenda items to you before every meeting. It’ll not only add to more positive meetings but also cultivate a culture of stewardship where they‘re encouraged to use their gifts to build the Kingdom of God.

3. Have a Predetermined Meeting Length

No one enjoys having long, drawn-out discussions that lead nowhere. Time management is essential when leading meetings. It helps your members remain focused on the task and encourages them to be present at every meeting when they know they can count on you to run meetings efficiently. 

When planning your next meeting, consider having a predetermined meeting length. Estimate how long it might take to have meaningful discussions with your members and decide on important issues during a meeting. Then work together with your members to determine a start and end time. As much as possible, begin meetings on time and end them as scheduled. Being consistent will help your team be present and productive.

4. Pick the Perfect Meeting Spot

Your meeting environment can predict how productive your meeting will be. Conference rooms near high-traffic areas can stall progress and take away focus from an agenda you’ve carefully planned. So make sure you get ahead of planning and schedule a quiet room for your next meeting. And while you’re at it, remember to reserve any necessary visual aids like projectors, monitors, or whiteboards. They’ll be important assets when discussing complex topics with your team.

5. Provide Drinks and Snacks

Let’s face it. Everyone enjoys food, especially when it’s offered at a meeting or bible study. Refreshments make people feel welcome and comfortable in formal settings like board meetings. Consider providing snacks, drinks, or even an occasional full meal at your next meeting. It’ll likely make it easier for members to attend when they know they won’t have to worry about stopping somewhere for dinner before the church meeting.

6. Have Open Communication

One of the important pieces of building a healthy culture of stewardship is building trust. The only way to build trust is to have open communication at every level of your church, especially at the board level. Open communication starts with you. 

Make room in your agenda for everyone to celebrate wins, voice ideas, share concerns, and discuss challenges they’re experiencing. Creating an environment that fosters healthy discussion among members can prevent alienating members from important discussions. Good leaders aren’t intimidated by hard conversations or difficult people. They face challenges head on and help the people they lead feel empowered to make a difference in their community.

7. Understand the Dynamics

The people who make up your board come from a variety of backgrounds and will have diverse personalities. That means disputes may arise, and you’ll have to be prepared to handle conflict before it turns toxic and negatively affects the rest of the board. 

As we mentioned earlier, open communication starts with you, the leader. Avoid sweeping conflict under the rug. Take the time to resolve issues and encourage reconciliation among members. You’ll not only foster genuine relationships, but also gain respect for your leadership.

8. Have the Proper Management

So far, we’ve covered what successful execution looks like with church board meetings. Now, let’s dive into the details of communicating with your members attending the meeting. 

You’ve put a lot of work into preparing a well-rounded agenda, and now you need to confirm that your board members are in the know. Many churches still send their agenda and meeting details through email and text. But unless they respond, it’s impossible to know if their board members have received it, or if they’ll attend at all. Aside from the frustration of not knowing, using disconnected tools and pulling data from various places isn’t helping leaders make the best use of their time and energy.

Help grow your ministry

Streamline Church Events With Advanced Tech

Pushpay offers a complete church event management software for church leaders. It fully integrates with a custom church app for your board members (or any member of your church) so you can keep your meetings timely, better planned, and organized. 

It allows leaders to create events and make sure nothing is missed during scheduling, like check-in, attendance, facility needs, start and end times, and location. Your church staff can assign specific administrators and leaders to approve events and publish them on the church calendar. 

Book rooms and resources for your next meeting and receive notifications upon approvals. Pushpay is built to support ministry coordination, so when you request a room and resources, your facilities team can access Room Reports and Facility Calendars and ensure your needs are met. 

Sending invites to your members is easy. When they receive an email, they can quickly RSVP so you know who and how many to expect. You and your members can also subscribe to calendar feeds so that your personal calendars are up to date with the most updated information. When life gets hectic, forgetting about an upcoming meeting can happen. But with Pushpay’s feeds feature, you’ll be able to prepare and manage effortlessly. 

Pushpay tools were designed to bring everyone together, none more so than the church app, where all your members can view events and send their rsvp to your next church board meeting. 

Interested to know more about why over 14,000 churches are using Pushpay to help manage their events? Talk to a church tech expert today and let’s help you make the most of your meetings.