Meeting minutes preserve actions taken during a church meeting for future reference. However, in many churches, the duty to record the minutes becomes the responsibility of an individual with little or no training in recording meeting minutes.
This often means the minutes will be insufficient, or worse, damaging to the church. A worst-case scenario exists where meeting minutes are not kept, therefore jeopardizing the ability of a church to document and demonstrate its actions.
Anyone with a role that involves capturing minutes from a church business or committee meeting should receive basic information on how to record and preserve meeting minutes.
The overall goal is to create a self-contained document to provide evidence of actions taken at a properly publicized, called, and run meeting. Minutes should show the meeting was properly called and noticed, that a quorum existed at the meeting, and that all decisions were approved by the required number of votes by qualified voters attending the meeting, in person, or, if permitted, by proxy. The meeting minutes should accurately report all decisions that occurred during the meeting.
These rules apply to member meetings, meetings of the board of directors (sometimes called a board of elders, a vestry, a session, or a church council), and all committee meetings.
To accomplish this, churches should establish procedures to assist the volunteers and staff members who oversee this vital governance function. These procedures should include guidance in the following areas: