Management & Leadershipin Ministry Role of the Chairperson
The primary role of the chairperson / pastor at any business meeting is to : Provide for civil & orderly discussion and trustworthy decision-making concerning ONE main item of business at a time.
The following slides outline the roles & responsibilities of the chairperson at a typicalcongregational business meeting. NOTE: Not all forms of church government function the same way (i.e. the pastor is not always thechairperson of the annual church business meeting). Kindly interpret the following slides, in light of the church government you are most familiar with.
Role of the Chairperson i.e.: Pastor at an annual church business meeting? 1) Ensure the date & purpose of the mtg. is properly, publicly announced and broadly advertised (Annual Mtg. = 2 weeks) 2) Ensure the agenda & all motions/recommendations are properly worded AND all related supporting reports are available & distributed in advance (Annual Mtg. = 2 wks. ; Monthly Bd. Mtg. = 2-3 days) 3) Ensure that the meeting room is properly set up (lighting, sound system, tables, chairs and temperature are ready). 4) Ensure that all needed supplies (pens, ballots, collection baskets, tellers, historic documents, reports, etc.) are readily available.
Role of the Chairperson (Pastor at Annual Mtg.) 5) Suggestion: Ask your church board to sit at the front of the auditorium with you (shared responsibility) 6) At the appointed time, promptly call the meeting to order even if you do not have a quorum (the business can begin, but no decisions can be made) ‚Call our meeting to order‛ 7) Offer a word of Welcome, & perhaps a short Scripture reading/devotional; opening Prayer; instructions/comments 8) Introduce those who have previously agreed to serve as ‘tellers’ & ask if the congregation will approve their appointment (usually 3 tellers, who have no vested interest in any of the elections/decisions). Approve by consensus 9) Turn the attention of the congregation to the previously distributed ‘agenda’ and ask if the congregation will adopt the agenda as the ‘Orders of the day’. Items of business + time
Role of the Chairperson (Pastor at Annual Mtg.)10) The first item of business is always to approve the ‚Minutes‛ from the last business meeting (if that responsibility has not been assigned to the church Board. Disc. 650). The minutes need not be read, if they were distributed ahead of time with the agenda . Minutes do not need to be 2nd in order for people to discuss, vote or offer amendments. Minutes can be received by ‘general consent’.11) Introduce each item of business to those in attendance, in the proper order, and at the proper time. Verbally provide the page numbers, in the agenda.12) Ensure each motion is properly made & seconded, and lead an orderly discussion/debate.13) Before each vote is taken, the chairperson physically STANDS to call for the question (‚Are you ready for the question?‛)
Role of the Chairperson14) Either personally read, or have the secretary read the motion that is about to be voted upon.15) To read (or have the tellers/secretary read) the numerical results of the vote, and declare who is elected or whether the motion is approved or lost.16) During the reading of the pastor’s annual report it is proper to ask the vice-chair of the church bd. to temporarily assume the role of ‘chair person’ of the annual business meeting. Highlight, don’t read the pastor’s report (assuming the report was previously distributed).17) It is the chairperson’s responsibility to respond to every ‘procedural’ question & make a quick, clear & decisive ruling. (i.e. whether a comment is ‘out of order’; what motions are debatable; clarify what motions is before the congregation for debate/vote; etc. ).
Role of the Chairperson 18) The chairperson makes the following declarations: - calls a meeting to order; - nominations to cease; - asks those in attendance to ‘vote’; - commits the ballots to the tellers for tabulation; - pronounces ‘who’ is elected; - announces the results of votes (motion carried, or lost); - directs the ‘destruction of the ballots’ at the conclusion of a meeting; and - declares the adjournment of a meeting.
The Chairperson DOESN’T DO THIS > > > - Enter into the discussion. You can only answer questions of protocol or general information … not share opinions or preferences. - Allow name-calling or character/motive assassination - Allow the discussion to wander away from the specific motion being considered. - Do not refer to yourself “I believe or I have decided’ instead refer to yourself as ‚The Chair believes…” - Allow the discussion to go in circles (restating & restating the same points/objections over and over). “The chair believes the assembly has heard sufficient arguments for and against the motion. Are you ready for the question?”
The Chairperson DOESN’T DO THIS > > > - Become emotional or allow their preferences to be known. If you feel that you must enter into the discussion, it is a cardinal rule that someone else must chair that portion of the meeting. - Limit the opportunities for those who ‘disagree’ with your personal opinion to speak to the issue/ motion. Let both sides (pro and con) have equal opportunity to speak. - Allow the discussion to wander away from the specific motion.
The Chairperson DOESN’T DO THIS > > >- Do not allow any negative talk about any person in the church or in the community during a public meeting. Board and annual business mtgs. are public mtgs. If you must talk negatively about a specific person, then the proper procedure is to have an ‘in-camera’ mtg. (Latin/legal: in chambers) which are private, totally confidential discussions). No Minutes are recorded during an ‘in camera’ mtg., and a stern reminder is announced that all discussions at this point are to be held in strictest confidentiality (no discussions with anyone, outside the meeting). Record this reminder in minutes.- Do not Record in any Minutes, the particulars of any negative accusations or actions taken against a person (i.e. So and so was verbally reprimanded for being alone in a room with a child).
The Chairperson DOESN’T DO THIS > > > - Do not use physical force to eject disruptive person from a mtg. 15 minute break & talk person. As a last resort, call the police if a violent or angry/ aggressive person will not behave themselves, nor leave voluntarily. - Do not allow a person to speak harshly or judgmentally against another person. Rule the ‘member out of order’ and demand they sit down & apologize for their tone & words. - Do not allow a meeting to proceed without someone officially recording the ‚Minutes‛ of the meeting.
The Chairperson DOESN’T DO THIS - Do not allow the business mtg. to devote more time to debate on a specific issue than is allowed by the ‚Orders of the Day‛. (i.e. ‚The timeallotted by our agenda for considering this questionhas now expired and it is time to bring themotion to a vote”). The Chair needs to keep thebusiness mtg. moving forward. For each personwho is offended … there are usually an equal orgreater number who are anxious to ‘move on’ toother items of business. You will be respected, ifyou apply this rule EQUALLY to all items ofbusiness.
Class ExerciseFix Time to AdjournAdjourn Scenario:Take a Recess Location: Christian campgroundsQuestion of PrivilegeCall for Orders of the Day Situation: Camp Board mtg.Appeal Motion: “To purchase an $800 waterDivision of AssemblyDivision of Question slide for the beach, and toInquiry/Pt. of Information change the camp to a 5 dayPt. of Order schedule (Mon. to Fri.) fromSuspend Rules a 7 day schedule.”Withdraw a motionLay on the Table Note: the rationale for this motion is:Previous Question Despite advertising better thisLimit/Extend time DebatePostpone to Certain Time year, the camp has not been attractingRefer to Committee enough campers to break even, and isAmend losing $1,200 each wk. of operationsPostpone Indefinitely (mainly staff wages) .Main Motion