CliffsNotes – August 11, 2020

How long should a board meeting be?

I am an introvert, an internal processor and I don’t function well in long meetings. There is however research that supports my best thinking in this matter. For years I have quipped when someone has asked me about evening board meetings, “nothing good happens after 9:00 PM!” I always smile when I say this, and I am well aware that sometimes (seldom) we need to work past 9:00, but as a rule, nothing good happens in meetings past 9:00. Of course, I defer to Holy Spirit: should He ever want you to stay, pray and listen, then please stay until He releases you.

I also believe that a regularly scheduled board meeting should not be longer than 2 hours tops. Let me explain:

  • Most board meetings start after 6:00 PM, which means that many board members have been up and at work already 12 hours. I wonder, do you think being asked important theological or financial questions in hours 14-16 of your day is wise? Are you your best self, 15 hours into the day?
  • Extroverts, external processors are energized in conversation and are formulating ideas and resolutions during the meeting. You will, however, have people around the table who need space and time to catch up and sort out their thoughts;
  • Technology allows us to meet more frequently for less controversial matters, so that face to face meetings can be more focused. For instance, a 25-minute zoom meeting can resolve smaller items on the agenda, prior to the face to face meeting;
  • Technology affords a good chair the opportunity to send out pre-reading, and homework, so that all members come prepared (too often, too much time is wasted in helping the less prepared members get caught up with issues – this isn’t fair to the of the board);
  • A good chair facilitates an annual board schedule, so that regular meetings and zoom meetings are planned to the best of their current knowledge. In this way members can plan around those dates in order to attend;
  • A much-recommended annual, face to face, weekend board retreat can be the place to discuss larger items. An annual retreat helps the board to develop unity, fosters fellowship and establishes an annual theme and board strategy;
  • Healthy boards answer 3 questions:
  1. Do we have the right vision?
    Annual retreat takes time to review vision (3-5 Ministry Plan), and to ensure the action steps are in place for the year;
    b) Board, pastor(s) and leaders develop a 3-5 Ministry Plan which becomes the basis of the board check-ins: “Is your ministry area living into the Ministry Plan?”

We have Regional Coaches in place to help your church develop this type of strategic plan.

  1. Do we have the right leadership in place?
    A Personnel Team / Committee will conduct regular performance appraisals which are then reported to the board. With this important team in place to support the Lead Pastor with all staffing (volunteer and paid) needs, the board is able to not be weighed down with these matters. The board, as overseers, will ensure that the Personnel Team / Committee is functioning well, and is staffing according to the 3-5 Ministry Plan;
    b) The board can then develop a healthy honest working relationship with the Lead Pastor.
  2. Are we financially healthy?
    The board should not be involved in the “minutia” (our Director of Administrative Services’ word) if the board has created a healthy and competent Finance Team. This team needs to include wise, Godly men and women who understand finances and the 3-5 Ministry Plan;
    b) This team reports to the board, and the healthy chair ensures that the board does not fall into micro-reviewing Finance team work unnecessarily.
  • Finally, healthy boards create a board covenant that covers all these expectations and is reviewed at least annually by the board.

Pastors and leaders, Patrick Lencioni has a very readable book, Death By Meeting. I recommend it.



Church Health Thursdays – Be a Big Influence:
News & Stories Blog – Scripture to Music –
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
New Leaf Network: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – :

August 16- 21, 2020
The Amazing Race – Virtual Family Camp
With the onset of Covid-19 many of our summer camps have been cancelled.  With this in mind we created a Virtual Family Camp where people can still come together, meet Jesus, and grow in their faith.
Come join us the week of Aug 16-21 on Facebook for inspiring music, challenging messages and activities for the whole family!
  • Special Speaker, Bishop Cliff Fletcher
  • Worship & Prayer with Maple Grove Camp
  • Youth with Natalie Frisk, The Meeting House
  • Kids’ Korner with Christina Catling, Barrie FM Church
  • Coffee & Devos hosted by Pastor Jenn Wagar, Barrie FM Church
Your camp experience includes:
  •  fun activities and daily challenges that you can do at home with your family or friends
  •  videos and testimonials to help you facilitate learning and discussion in your home
  •  interactive discussion, devotionals, sharing thoughts, questions
  • inspiring and encouraging evening worship services
    …and more!
For more information go to:
All Are Welcome!


Rev. Jurgen Rausch (PAOC Ordained Minister) – appointed as Transition/Interim Pastor at Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON, effective August 2.



Leonard Bruce – Warkworth, ON – ordination service date TBA

Dani Harris – The Corner Church, Oshawa, ON – ordination service date TBA

Douglas Smith – Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON – ordination service date TBA


Register online through the link above

Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCIC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.

Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
November 6-8, 2020 –  location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 6-8, 2020 –   Ontario location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA:

Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit.  Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.

Culture and the Missional Church:
Course starts October 13 (deadline to register – October 5)
Part One: Oct 13-Nov 5 – advance online engagement
Part Two: Nov 6-7 – two-day in-person class – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON

Personal and Church Stewardship: (NOTE:  TUITION WAIVED FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE)
5-week online course (ENGLISH) – Fall 2020-date TBA – Please register to be put on the waiting list.  If we receive enough registrations, we will run this course online again this fall.

(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!  Note:  Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course.  Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)



October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters of 2020. The 2020 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.

October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2020 – apply online from the link above.



Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year.  Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note:  For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences or the spring Regional Gatherings, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.



Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK


Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the  Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 416-240-7845   (deadline to apply in brackets)

None available at this time


Preparing Profiles

(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)

Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)


Youth and Worship Pastor – Weyburn FM Church
Associate Pastor:  Youth, Young Adults & Social Media – Barrie Free Methodist Church
Office Administrator – Westdale Park FM Church
Ministry Intern – Maple Grove Christian Retreat