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New Business Meetings Format

An alternative format may restore the effectiveness of your congregational meetings.

Do you struggle to get members to church business meetings, either because of hectic schedules, a growing but less interested membership base, or both? Several solutions exist, ranging from an open-meeting format conducted over several days, to forming a select voting class of members, to hosting an electronic meeting.

None of these options is cut-and-dried. Without careful planning, one misstep can tarnish the results of any vote.

"Most churches aren't thinking about it until after a problem develops," says Frank Sommerville, a Texas-based attorney who works with churches and nonprofits. "That's the sad part—you then have to go back and redo everything."

Sommerville, a contributing editor of Your Church magazine and Church Law & Tax Report, recommends three steps before planning any type of business meeting:

  1. Review the state's nonprofit corporation statute;
  2. Review the church's articles of incorporation;
  3. Review the church's bylaws.

This will let you know what types of meetings are allowed, ...

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