Ministers are not expected to be experts in parliamentary procedure, but familiarity with five common and recurring issues can help clear up confusion as they seek to conduct meetings in a proper and orderly way.
Which parliamentary authority applies to meetings of our board and membership?
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, or any other body of parliamentary procedure, is not applicable unless specifically adopted.
Churches can and should select a specific body of parliamentary procedure by an appropriate clause in the church’s governing document. If a particular system of parliamentary procedure has been used by common consent long enough to constitute a church practice or custom, then it probably would be considered as binding as if specifically adopted by a provision in the church’s governing document.
If no body of parliamentary procedure has been adopted, either by reference in a church’s governing document or by custom, then the ordinary or “common law” rules of parliamentary law should be observed in the conduct of a meeting.