A tool to help focus your board on what is most important

  1. Pre-meeting board packet
    All financial, staff and committee reports sent in advance
    • Keep each report and the total board packet within stated limits
    • 1 2 weeks is usually enough
    • Email is a preferable mode of delivery for many board members
    • Highlight any proposed board action at top of each report

    On cover sheet of board packet list the tentative meeting agenda
    Prepared by Chief Ministry Officer (minister) and Chief Governance Officer (board chair)

    • Consent agenda
      • Minutes, reports, correspondence, etc.
      • Routine or non-controversial actions: routine changes in policy or procedure, confirmation of contracts, etc.
      • Pro-forma approvals required by law or denominational polity: baptisms, confirmations, removal of membership, designation of housing allowance, etc.
    • Discussion agenda: One to three major items
      • Proposals to create or change ogoing policies
      • Inquiry or discussion into core elements of the congregation’s mission
      • Should we be in the rental business?
      • Workshop meeting with education program leaders to clarify our ministry with children
      • Reflection on the church’s response to a current social issue touching on our purposes and mission
  2. At the meeting
    • Board chair: “You have all received the board packet, with the consent agenda. Does any member wish to move an item from the consent agenda to the discussion agenda?”
    • If any member requests it, an item is moved. (By courtesy, advance notice would be given to the board chair.)
    • Board chair: “Without discussion, then, the consent agenda is ready for a vote. Those in favor? Opposed? All items on the consent agenda are adopted.”
  3. Benefits
    • Board pays attention to what is most important.
    • Members are motivated to read and understand the board packet.
    • Attendance improves because meetings are more interesting and satisfying.