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How to Conduct a Committee Meeting

Pastors invest a lot of time in meetings.
Plan the meeting well. It is determining where you are going and how you will get there. Below are steps in planning a meeting.

Determine the need for the meeting.
If there is no need, the meeting should not take place. What are the apparent needs? How is each need related to the team or committee? Does the need demand a meeting, or could one person handle the problem? What will happen or not happen if a meeting is not held?
State the purpose of the meeting. The leader of the team or committee should state the purpose of the meeting. The purpose may be stated in the form of a goal. Some possible purposes are:
Receiving reports.
Defining, analyzing.
Sharing information.
Gaining acceptance of an idea.
Reconciling differing views.

Schedule the meeting.
If the church has policies about meeting times and places, check with those who handle the church calendar to schedule the meeting.

Plan the meeting agenda.
An agenda can serve as guideline to move toward the accomplishment of its purpose. The agenda should be shared with the team or committee before the meeting. This will help team members prepare and know how much time to set aside for the meeting. A good agenda will include the following:
Date, place, and time of meeting.
Subject(s) for discussion.
Background statements.
Present condition of subject.
Purpose and aim of meeting.

Arrange for facilities.
The facilities needed will be determined by the purpose and size of the meeting. It is best if the room is not so large the group gets lost in it. This makes discussion difficult. Most team or committee meetings are best conducted with members sitting in a circle or semicircle.
Make assignments. Advance assignments will help a team move to its conclusion quickly and efficiently.

Start on time. Don't punish those who made the sacrifice to arrive on time by delaying the meeting.

State the purpose of the meeting.

Ask someone to pray that God will lead the group to achieve the purpose of the meeting.

Stay on track. Most team or committee meetings that don't stay on track are ineffective. Most of the time, a chairman or team leader should not allow too much discussion of non-agenda items.

Limit discussion to agenda items.

Summarize key points.

Reach conclusion as soon as possible.

Involve all members. Here are a few suggestions to help the leader involve members.

Ask open-ended questions.


Complete the meeting.
This step is just as important as beginning the meeting well. As the meeting is concluded, review all decisions and list unresolved problems.

Evaluate the meeting.
This must be done to improve future meetings. Evaluation is not criticism or faultfinding. It is pinpointing the strong and weak points of a meeting and searching for ways to improve.


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