Strauch has written a most helpful manual that accomplishes exactly what its subtitle states – “A Guide to Effective Elders’ Meetings.” Any board of elder would benefit from reading and implementing the ideas in this little (90 pages) book.
In general, Meetings That Work presents both biblical and practical helps for elder meetings. Biblically, Meetings That Work is right on the money. For example, Strauch writes:
Redesign meetings and agendas to represent what the Bible
says the role of elders should be…meetings will deal with
truly important issues: defining and clarifying the church’s beliefs
and principles of ministry, developing a distinctive mission and
vision, evaluating major ministries, improving pastoral care, and
planning for the future. (p. 42)
Strauch continues by identifying the three core responsibilities of elders: people, prayer and the Word. (pp. 42-49).
On the practical side Meetings That Work deals with everything from frequency of meetings, record keeping, developing an agenda and delegation. The book concludes with several helpful appendixes, two of which provide sample guides for elder meetings.
I found this book an excellent reminder of the biblical roles of elders and a most practical help in organizing elder meetings that allow them to function as elders and not as a board of directors.