Checklists for Vestries

We had our Annual Meeting… now what?

The annual meeting is over and now it is time for the vestry to get to work. Usually, congregations will have an orientation for the new vestry. Every time a vestry is formed, it is a new group and needs to review roles and responsibilities.

Check to be sure your congregation has:

  • An orientation date set
  • Vestry Resource Guides for all members of the vestry
  • An online or physical book with the following for all vestry members:
    • Job descriptions
    • Clergy letter of agreement
    • Contracts
    • Bylaws
    • Minutes and financial reports
    • Past reviews of ministries
    • Community contact information
    • Vendor contact information
  • Calendar of Worship and Events to be completed soon after the orientation
  • Review of Goals and Review of Ministries to be completed soon after or at the orientation
    • Reviewing and adjusting helps keep ministries fresh and allows for new opportunities to develop.
    • Goals often have many parts to them, and it is helpful to break them up into doable projects as a yearly goal. The next year’s goal can continue working on them as needed to keep fresh and engaging. For example, you may have a goal of creating a welcoming community. Here are a few things one would need to look at: 
      • How people are first greeted?
      • How do you follow up with them?
      • What opportunities do they have for learning about the community?
      • What opportunities do they have for participating in the community?

The first year’s goal may be the actually Sunday greeting — how it is done, what is needed, who is best and how are they trained and supported?

The second year may be looking at the follow-up — learning and participating in the community.

The third year, reviewing both components and adding or deleting as needed.

Ministries have a season and sometimes letting things end is the most helpful. We have limited resources (people and money) and, with an honest review, we can add and delete as needed.

Vestry Checklist

Review of the Checklist for Congregations. This list will spark conversation and keep your vestry aware of its tasks and responsibility to the wider community.

The above links are shared as Word documents so that you may use and adapt them for your needs. Here they are as pdfs:

Checklist for Congregations
Calendar of Worship and Events
Review of Goals
Review of Ministries