Rules of Order in Church Business

Many churches have in their bylaws that they will conduct their business meetings according to Roberts’ Rules of Order, but in the actual meeting, Roberts would never recognize his rules!

Congregations with which I have been associated appreciate doing things a bit more informally, as long as things are going well.  It is important, however, when things are not going well, to make a straight line back to these formal rules of order.

In a friendly meeting, people will sometimes address one another when they have a question or observation concerning a matter to be decided.  This is fine, if the atmosphere is friendly and the matter is moving toward conclusion.  On the other hand, when matters seem to be getting less friendly, the moderator need to take immediate control and instruct all persons wishing to speak to seek permission from the chair, and then to address the chair with any comments.   The congregation needs to be educated in these matters to know which recommendations they can make to help bring the congregation out of a troublesome business meeting.

There will be times when matters of business will be taken very seriously by church members, and it is very important that people come away with a feeling of unity.  It is of extreme importance that the moderator of the meeting know how to maintain order and keep control of the meeting.

5 thoughts on “Rules of Order in Church Business

  1. Hello ~ Our church(I. B. C.) in T-town, does not follow “Roberts rules of order”, and I believe is actually run by just a few stubborn old men who refuse to change ANYTHING about how the church does business. They’ve been chewing up Pastors & spitting them out for several Decades now. We had @ 1000 members in the `60’s, and now we’re down to about 100. When our current pastor was first interviewed by the committies, he told them a lot of changes would have to take place before the church could move forward. Now, the only thing the Deacon Board wants to change is our Pastor, who DOES preach from the Bible, and backs everything up with Scripture. Now those few people are angry that many members DO NOT WANT to follow their Recomendation of forming a “Pastor Search Committee”. I’m ready to stand up for our church during “new business” and say, “We have a pastor, what we really need is to stop doing things the same way expecting different results. And I make a motion that we remove some people who have controlled the church for several decades and are keeping our church from growing.” Please, I’m just a member, but could use some advice on what to do now because things are getting crazy. One deacon makes a motion or recommendation, another seconds it and it’s passed. When the congregation gets to vote and it’s done by secret ballot the deacons leave the room to tally the vote. Thanks ~

  2. It sounds like there are some controlling people who need to be dealt with. The first thing to do would be to pray fervently, then follow the guidelines of Mt 18. There are many churches in your same situation.

  3. First of all All Honor in Glory to the most High God in to all the brothers in sisters that read these words, as we come to the end of this journey that God has called us to do we will meet many obstacle because the devil is busy trying to destroy those that were called by GOD, as the Scripture Matt:20:16 say “so the last shall be first,and the last;first for many were called, but few chosen, so there is many false Christians n the churches today that would hender the truth from moving forward in it is not how many members that is in a church that sanctify it but the word of God n the interpretation of what God is doing in the world today my brother so stay strong n the word of God because it wont be long as people think, before the true ruler n King returns. As always as In Faith we lift u up in prayer cause the church is under attack n all r not chosen of God

  4. In a church committee meeting, in which the pastor is the ex-officio member, does the chairman of the committee get to vote with the rest of the committee?

    If the vote is a tie without the chairman voting, does the pastor, an ex-officio member, get to vote to break the tie?

  5. In my judgment, the chairman in a committee should vote. It is wise to have committees structured with a number where a tie would not happen. The pastor might express the direction he thinks things should go, but I don’t think he should actually vote.

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