Seven Reasons Why Monthly Church Business Meetings Are Dying

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WallyMorris's picture

Our church has meetings every quarter, which seems to work out well. However, even with quarterly meetings, attendance is low. Trying to hold meetings only once a year won't help much since the annual meeting where we review the new budget also has low attendance. Of course, this is not only a problem for churches. The Evangelical Theological Society's business meeting is poorly attended as well.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me that when my church votes in new members, it may technically be a business meeting--so if new members are not coming, then that's reason #8 that monthly business meetings are going away.

But that said, monthly business meetings were probably all a sign of bad management--if your spending, personnel changes, and such are moving at such a fast pace that you need to go before the congregation that often, then you've got to ask yourself why you bother electing deacons or elders, and why you don't trust them to make the week to week decisions.  These are guys you are supposed to be able to trust in these matters, after all.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

I have begun attending churches that are Elder Led (somewhat Elder Run).  And the frequency of the meetings is minimal and typically not a lot of discussion.  What I have enjoyed, is that there seems to be less contention or worry amongst the church members around many topics, compared to churches that I have been a member at where everything is up for vote.  The churches aren't perfect, but it keeps the focus away from the color of the carpet and more into discipleship and focusing on Christ.  I have enjoyed it.

Larry Nelson's picture


...was just last night.  (We have them quarterly, btw.)  

Very well-attended; 45 minutes max.  A high-level presentation of finances, re-caps of ministry highlights, various routine actions, and oh yeah: there was a rather significant vote taken.  The membership voted (nearly unanimously) to build a new 1,100 seat auditorium and to also launch a second church site. 

We've been praying & talking about these plans for a few months, and our folks had plenty of time to have any individual questions or concerns addressed prior to the meeting.  For a decision of such magnitude, the unity & excitement of the congregation last night was a joy to behold. 


TOvermiller's picture

I've known churches to hold annual meetings and quarterly meetings, but never monthly meetings. I've learned something! This year we are holding two scheduled meetings, one mid year to evaluate our financial status and discuss other relevant topics, and then a second end of year to do the same thing as the mid-year meeting, but also to approve the annual budget for the following year.

Of course, as necessary, we may call for another business meeting whenever a relevant matter requires congregational discussion.

I praise the Lord for a congregation who understands that a business meeting is an opportunity to work together, make key decisions and advance the work of Christ in a biblical, unified way - sensitive to the will of God.

Thomas Overmiller
Pastor |
Blog & Podcast |

DLCreed's picture

Back in the day when I was the guy conducting the good ol' Baptist business meetings myself, I knew a few things....

1. If only a handful of people showed up, it was going to be a good night.

2. If "that guy" showed up, it was going to be a longer night.

3. If there was a large crowd, it was going to be a REALLY long night.

4. If someone brought a copy of the church by-laws along, you'd end up wishing you'd brought some Popcorn and Milk Duds, cuz' stuff was fixin' to happen!

Dan Miller's picture

We just last year rewrote and passed a new constitution. The main change was Pleural Eldership. 

We also got rid of quorums - for the most part. At Quarterly Members Meetings, the quorum is whoever shows up. 

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Great article by Thom Rainer. I plan to give copies of it to my church tonight.
David R. Brumbelow