How to Communicate with Your Board During A Crisis

Written by Angie Joya on Apr 14, 2020 in Church Management

We don’t have to tell you that life, not only for pastors, in the last few weeks has been uncertain and perhaps even alarming. Many of our pastors find themselves having to manage not only their family’s worries and anxieties, but also those of their entire congregation as well as staff and board members. Perhaps you, like many pastors across the country, are standing at a crossroads: Should my church continue in a time like this? How can my church even go on?

The first thing to know is that the current situation does not mean that your church has to stop holding activities. In fact, most churches have made the transition to offer services via internet platforms such as Facebook Live, Zoom, and even YouTube. All of these platforms provide invaluable resources for continuing to hold virtual services and offering words of encouragement and reassurance to your congregation.

But what about your board members? How can there be “business as usual” when you’re so disconnected? How can the board come together when board members are not able to physically meet? 

Abide by your bylaws

Even though it doesn’t seem like it, this is the time to look to your bylaws for some direction. Believe it or not, part of the strategic components of the StartRIGHT Service is the option to include language regarding “Meetings by Remote Communications Technology.” In short, this article states that board meetings can take place even if the board members aren’t together. This provision in the bylaws allows pastors and churches to use technology to continue holding services! 

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The tools at your disposal

The same tools that can help you stay connected with your congregation can also help you stay connected with the board during these times. Does the language in your bylaws allow you to continue to make decisions with the people that you have chosen to support you in trying times, such as these?

The “Meetings by Remote Communications Technology” language permits someone to be considered present at a board meeting as long as he or she can hear and be heard by everyone on the call. That makes conference calls and communication platforms, such as Zoom or Slack, essential tools in times such as these. Various platforms allow for not only voice calls, but also video calls with multiple users. In a time where we have to maintain distance from one another, seeing a familiar face can bring so much comfort. 

Tough calls to make

It is important to remember that these are times to rely on your board. Life is not meant to be lived alone, and we must not forget that you chose the board members to help carry your load during these difficult times. Though it may seem counterintuitive to have board meetings now, there may be decisions that need to be made. Some decisions may be easier than others, but many decisions, especially those of a financial nature, require a board meeting. Those decisions might include:

  • Selling of property; 
  • Selling of tangible assets; 
  • Reevaluating salary contracts of staff members, including the Senior Pastor’s; or
  • Making any other changes or decisions regarding the church’s budget or finances.

So, what’s next? The important thing is that you look at your bylaws. The bylaws should delineate what the protocol is for handling communication via remote technology, as well as decision-making processes. The following steps should be taken to appropriately document board decisions.

    • Create an agenda and properly format it with the call to order, reading of previous minutes, new business, old business, etc.
    • Send out the notice of a board meeting to each board member, giving sufficient time as required by your state’s law.
    • Create an attendance list, and use it to keep attendance of those present and those absent.
    • Keep detailed notes of the discussions and decisions using a form based on the agenda.
    • After the board meeting, send a copy of the proposed minutes to each board member.
    • At the next board meeting, ratify the copy of the minutes you sent to each board member.

 A time such as this

As a ministry leader, you want to be confident as you lead those God has called you to, especially in times of crisis. But every crisis is different, especially one you have never faced before. How do you lead your ministry during times of uncertainty? Where do you begin?

At StartCHURCH, we understand you want to lead your ministry with certainty no matter what you are facing. It matters that you keep moving toward the call of God on your life for that ministry or church He has placed on your heart. We created the Leading Through Crisis video course for ministry leaders and pastors to have a guide as they lead through times of distress and uncertainty. Purchase the video course for 50% off now through Thursday, April 30.

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This is a time when the world is looking to churches and pastors for guidance. There is no template for handling the current situation, and the weight of that can seem impossible. But we must focus on the word in Esther 4:14, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”

Lean into knowing that you have surrounded yourself with the people that are going to support you during this crucial time, and know that now more than ever, StartCHURCH is in your corner. Give us a call at 877-494-4655, and we would be honored to serve and help in whatever way we can. 

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Raul Rivera

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