For a quick summary of how to prepare minutes of church board meetings, check out Mastering Minutes for Church Business Meetings at Church Law & Tax. The article is written by Frank and Elaine Sommerville.
Churches often struggle with preparing minutes that are appropriate, helpful, and not dangerous.
Read the full article for a great primer.
Here is what minutes should do:
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.
The article lists 16 different types of information that should be documented.
It then describes a few things that should not be in minutes:
Many times minutes contain unnecessary information that may be harmful to the church. The minutes should not contain any discussions between members regarding matters placed before them or any details about the deliberative process that preceded decisions. The minutes should not include the contents of executive sessions…
The minutes should not contain any discussions with attorneys, certified public accountants, and insurance adjusters that may be privileged. However, minutes should include decisions made as a result of discussions with attorneys, CPAs, and adjusters.
I think lots of churches would benefit from having the pastor, board chair, and secretary read the article. Please check it out.
(Hat tip: National Association of Church Business Administrators)