Living Through Church Business Meetings


I have been around churches a long time. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the worst in people come out in the name of Christianity. And, sadly, most of this poor behavior I’ve witnessed during church business meetings. Once during a particular quarrelsome evening where two feuding segments went at each other’s throats with wild accusations, I noticed the church secretary taking very few notes for the official minutes. I leaned over and asked her, “How are you going to write this down?” “It’s simple,” she replied, “I usually write, ‘much discussion followed.’”

Well, I’ve sat through church business meetings that started at supper time and ended almost in time for breakfast. Those marathon meetings usually have one thing in common: strife. You can tell you’re headed for a church showdown if a bus of inactive members who haven’t been around in years suddenly shows up for the mid-week business meeting. I’ve observed one of those as well. Suddenly, people who have not attended, volunteered, or given financially or otherwise in years—sometimes never–will speak with passion and conviction about what they feel “right” for “their” church.

Last night was a different type of church business meeting for me. Pastor Pete opened the meeting with a short

overview of the largest growth percentage in our short five-year history as well as a record year for baptism. His eye lit up when he talked about our new satellite church in Dickson, TN opening up in January. But even in the midst of such great news, he spoke candidly about our financial challenges in not meeting our aggressive budget for the first time since the church started. Brian, an Elder, went through the process of Elder selection and presented the two new Elders chosen for confirmation by the congregation. Shortly afterward, Jenni, our Director of Operations, talked about the new ministry hires and future staff growth. Rod, our treasurer went over the proposed 2008 budget and the financial implications a new campus would have for the new year. All of this was done in less than 45 minutes.

I thank God for my church and for the great leadership from both our Staff as well as from our lay leaders who are able to keep the appropriate check and balances in place while creating a culture of entrepreneurship and creativity where our church spends most of its time doing the work of the gospel instead of fighting about self serving or meaningless and trivial things that, most often, have no eternal impact. I pray we’ll always keep it that way.

  • Amen. Church Business meetings shouldn’t be death matches. When we show integrity in our ministry and are good stewards of the monies we have all the trivial things can fall to the side.

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