Now that we’ve covered the aspects of building the finance team, what might the meeting look like?
Before we take a look at this, let’s take a look at what should happen before the meeting takes place:
1 Financial Reports, Key Ministry Metrics and Related Analysis should have been received so the team has ample time to review before the meeting.
2 Pastor, Finance Chair and/or the Staff Finance person should be in touch with one another to discuss the upcoming agenda.
3 Send an email to the team about any specific issues they should be aware of ahead of time so that team members have had time to think and pray about before the meeting.
3 Aspects of the Meeting
#1 – The Agenda.
I recommend a standard agenda developed from the team objectives and responsibilities. Here’s what the meeting may look like:
Meeting opens up in prayer.
The Pastor leads the team in a devotion. Or a talk around the Vision and how the team ties into that.
Review the last meeting just to reorient the team. Decisions made, action items and outcomes.
Get into the current standard agenda as developed from the team responsibilities. After the standard agenda has been worked thru, go into an…
Open floor discussion. This could be projects, issues, concerns or questions raised from church members etc.
Summarize the meeting. Clarity is good. End with the decisions made, the action items and the next meeting date.
Close with a time of prayer. Aim to have 10 – 15 minutes of prayer time.
#2 – The Meeting Minutes.
Be sure someone is recording and publishing the meeting minutes. This is very important. See this post. The minutes need not be voluminous. (one to two pages max).
Lay them out like this:
Record who’s there, who’s absent, who opened the meeting.
Write brief statements about the topics discussed along with decisions made.
Include action points as needed.
Record how the meeting was closed.
The minutes should be signed by the one who recorded/submitted the meeting minutes.
Be sure to put the meeting minutes and related agenda in a meeting minutes binder for easy access.
#3 – Other Considerations.
a. Frequency. Meet monthly, at least 11 months of the year. Make it a priority. Don’t cancel a meeting just because someone can’t make it.
b. When and where to meet. I think it is most helpful to meet on a normal church service day. (Sunday or Wednesday). Schedule it the same week each month, say the 2nd or 3rd week. In other words, don’t take another “non-church” day from your lay leaders for this meeting – try to have the meeting when they are already scheduled to be there.
Finally, get away with your team periodically. Have a cookout at the Pastor’s house or a team member’s house. Catch a baseball game together. Have dinner out somewhere. You get the picture.
This is the last post in my series How to Set Up and Align Church Finance Teams. I hope you’ve found them helpful. Here’s the first post in the series.