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Elders' Meetings that Do Something

Seven tips for more effective meetings.

Elders' meetings should not be an exercise in futility. Rather, to be effective for the church and interesting for the elders, some thought must be put into your time together.

Some suggestions:

1. Plan for meeting together more often and for a longer period of time.

We find meeting for at least four hours weekly is about right, 6-10 pm. Even then we find that we want more time. In fact, before one of our elders changed jobs, we would meet from 5-10 pm. The "once-a-month elders' meeting" is the kiss of death for most elder teams. It usually means that the elders do not understand their responsibilities and are mere figure heads. Don't die from pastoral atrophy.

We like to make our meetings enjoyable. We start out by eating an inexpensive meal together, for instance. We might do this in a restaurant or at one of our homes by bringing in pizza. Sometimes we include our wives, so that they can enjoy visiting with each other while we meet. Occasionally, the entire family of each elder joins us. ...

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