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Attending a Church Service, Viewed as a Business Meeting

Updated on December 23, 2017
Carolyn M Fields profile image

Lifelong learner, musician, author, world traveler, truth enthusiast, and all around bon vivant.


There are several distinct phases the occur during a service, and believe it or not, they resemble a standard business meeting. Please note that my observations are based on my personal experience in the United States. Other cultures may differ.

As an additional side note, I should mention that I am "pro" business. If you are searching for an exposé on the supposed "evils" of American corporations, you will need to look elsewhere.


As with any business meeting, participants gather one-by-one, in pairs, or in small groupings. They find a place to sit, usually in the same general area as the last meeting. Some people like to sit up front, close to the person who will chair the meeting. We will call this person the leader for now. Others prefer to hang back. Generally there is some kind of background music playing, which stops when the leader calls the meeting to order.

Call to Order

The leader begins by welcoming the participants, and makes a few general remarks. This person will have a few instructions and announcements, and refer people to the printed agenda (bulletin). Typically, but not always, there will be a few moments for people to rise, and meet and greet each other formally. This involves handshaking and sharing pleasantries. There may be more music at this time.

Why We Are Here

The first order of business is that all participants agree as to why they are here. The purpose of the meeting, so to speak. The theme is problem-solving (sin), and decision-making (redemption). There is a verbal exchange between the leader and the participants during this stage.


Old Business

Next on the agenda is old business. The leader or one of the participants will read from a collection of writings, detailing the history of prior participants. These are assembled in a publication which is available for all the participants to read and review regularly. The reading during the meeting is therefore a formality, just to get everyone “on the same page.”

Main Presentation

The leader will then make an extensive presentation on some aspect of the publication. He or she will expound on the message of the words, and what participants should do going forward, in order to learn, grow, and develop based on those words.


There is a financial aspect to every gathering. Participants address the fiscal health of the organization, and pledge their support to ensure continued operations.

New Business

New business consists of requests directed to Headquarters, for the continued well-being of the organization, and the individuals who belong to it. The leader generally announces these requests. Some requests are general in nature, and others have been submitted in advance of the meeting for the leader to share. Specific requests are articulated, and the participants verbally acknowledge their support.


The leader wraps up by wishing all the participants good fortune and continued success in carrying out the vision and mission of the organization, both individually and as a group. There is usually also a verbal acknowledge from the participants at this point.

Another musical interlude signals the conclusion of the meeting. Participants exit the main gathering location, and mingle near the refreshments provided (such as coffee, donuts, cake, cookies, and the like). They all disperse shortly thereafter.

Action Items and Follow-up

Most participants will feel a strong call to action at the conclusion of the meeting. This will quickly wane for most, resulting in the necessity for repetition of agenda elements at the next meeting.

Some, however, will follow-through. These individuals spread the message of the organization, and do good works throughout the community. Without the support and active involvement of these folks, the whole mission of the organization would quickly wither and die.


My meaning here is simple: the need to gather together for mutual support is great. People will continue to commune with like-minded individuals, to feel the mutual support, reinforce their beliefs, and make plans for the future. Whether they are conducting business, or attending a church service, there are certain fundamental elements present. For those who rail against “organized religion” as some archaic, out-of-date relic, think again. The trappings may change with the times, but people will continue to feel the need to meet and share their ideas until the end of time.


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  • Carolyn M Fields profile image

    Carolyn Fields 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Thank you, Larry. I am glad you found it an interesting read.

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

    Interesting analogy.

  • Carolyn M Fields profile image

    Carolyn Fields 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Thank you, MsDora. You got what I was trying to say.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

    True, Carolyn. We all need connectedness which we may find in the church or in the workplace according to our interests. Effective comparison.

  • Carolyn M Fields profile image

    Carolyn Fields 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Thank you, peachpurple, for your insight into Malaysia. You bring up a good point. I should have noted that my observations were based upon my experience in the USA. Sometimes I forget that I am writing to an International audience. My apologies for the oversight.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    Churches in different countries have different pratice, here in malaysia, the rich go to the new church while the poor and blue collars, maids, go to the okd church

  • Carolyn M Fields profile image

    Carolyn Fields 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Thank you for reading, Anna. Interesting point.

  • profile image

    Anna Storer 2 years ago

    I have never seen or heard a Church Service analysed quite like this before. Truth to tell, everything today is business orientated, if it wasn't the world would most probably come to a stand still.

  • Carolyn M Fields profile image

    Carolyn Fields 2 years ago from South Dakota, USA

    Thank you, firework23. I was a little nervous about how this hub might be received. I am glad you "got it."

  • profile image

    Tamara 2 years ago from U.S.A.

    This is spot on. It was funny to me seeing the comparisons but the entire reason I started going to church was fellowship. It is nice to not come across someone attacking religious congregations. I have spent a bit of energy trying to show naysayers that not all formal gatherings are full of false doctrines/heresy. I truly believe that true followers can be found in all denominations and outside of them. Thank you for this :-) You made my night. May God richly bless you.