Some pastors fear their Congregational Annual Meeting! Others are bored by them.
I look forward to Annual Meetings, but I also run them differently than I have seen them run in some churches when I was younger. The church I grew up in had Congregational Meetings that seemed to micro-manage many decisions in the church with everybody voting on just about anything and everything. Later on I sat in on Annual Meetings that became debates about every point on the Budget.
Here’s why I like Annual Meetings. I see them as planning meetings or even strategy meetings to a certain extent. It’s like I get to be the Coach and I’m calling an “all-player” meeting. If that sounds boring, try to set them up like a pep-rally! This is an opportunity to Celebrate what God has done and to lay out a vision of where we are going.Yes, we need to have reports but we don’t necessarily go through each one. People need to read those ahead of time. We only deal with Action that needs to come from those reports. We need to take time to have the necessary elections. And then we make sure we take time to share some details of the vision for the next year.
Our Church’s Annual Meeting will happen this Sunday afternoon following a potluck lunch. One of the items I always include after the “business” is done is to Dream about our future. During this time I will summarize some of what the Elders Board worked through at a recent Strategy Planning Retreat. And I will have opportunity as the Pastor to lay out some of what I envision in the year to come. For me, that is exciting – even fun!
One challenge is to make sure you don’t move through the meeting too slowly or last too long. That will kill any enthusiasm!
I would encourage you, see your Annual Meeting, not just as a necessary duty but as a great opportunity too get your congregation excited and informed about where you believe God is leading you!
Lose your Annual Meeting fear and look forward to it with enthusiasm!