Church Leaders

The place for Sessions, Clerks of Session, Ruling Elders, Treasurers, and anyone leading a church.

The Session

What’s A Session?
The Session is the governing council of the local church. It consists of Ruling Elders elected by a congregation and the Pastor(s). Ruling Elders are elected by the congregation to serve 3 year terms on Session. Elders work, study, pray, and lead together – always seeking the will of God for the benefit of the congregation. A Session is a collection of independent thinkers who use their talents to discern Christ’s presence through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
G-3.02 Book of Order – Responsibilities and Ministry of Session

Session Training: The Miniseries
Read more here: https://www.presbyteryeasttn.org/resources/elder-training/
Five Sessions to be used at a retreat or over a series of weeks. Contains videos, Leaders’ Guide, and Students’ Guide in English and Korean.

  1. Foundations of Presbyterian Polity
  2. Ministry of ALL Members
  3. Ministry of Ruling Elders
  4. Ministry of Sessions
  5. Ministry of the Clerk of Session
The Basics of Session Minutes
The Basics of Session Minutes - Read More
  • Record when, where, and by whom the meeting was CONVENED. Include the name of the MODERATOR.
  • All meetings should be opened and closed with prayer. That this was done should be recorded.
  • Minutes should record the session members present. Absences need not be recorded.
  • Report changes to the church rolls.
  • Report any correspondence addressed to the session.
  • Motions made may include the name of the maker, or the name of the committee making the motion. The person seconding a motion is not named. It is not necessary to record the number of votes for or against a motion, unless a written or hand ballot is called for. Simply report that the motion passed or failed.
  • Baptisms, including names of those baptized and the elder presenter should be recorded with date. Celebrations of the Lord’s Supper should also be recorded after they have occurred.
  • It’s not necessary to include written committee reports in the minutes. Do record all actions that committees have taken as authorized by session. If committees are functioning within their budgets and their committee description in the Administrative Manual, committee actions should be reported as shared information, but do not require further approval by session.
  • Record that session approved the minutes from the previous meeting as part of the meeting. Minutes aren’t minutes until the session votes to approve them. Until then, they’re just neatly typed notes.
  • Record the time of meeting adjournment with prayer.
  • State the date and time of the next meeting.

Taking and Preserving Minutes

  • Minutes should be typed.
  • Minutes should be stored in a sturdy, 3-ring binder. Minutes should be printed on Letter-size paper.
  • Most paper now is acid-free, but at least 20 lb paper is recommended.
  • The pages of minutes should be consecutively numbered, not just in one binder, but from one to the next.
  • If corrections need to be made to a page of minutes, they may be done in writing, crossing out the amended text and hand writing with a single line. Inserted text should be printed as neatly as possible with the CLERK’S initials beside the correction.
  • Make minutes easy to read, with decisions of the session clearly marked as such.
  • Write in complete sentences. Be concise, but include all necessary details.
  • Minutes should be printed and preserved in a binder. This could be a 3-ring binder, or an expensive heavy duty binder from Cokesbury, or minutes could also be spiral-bound.
  • Minute binders should be clearly labeled as such and stored in the church office or some other location where they can be easily accessed.
  • Minutes are the property of a congregation.
  • Most churches are saving their minutes online, perhaps on Google Drive or Dropbox. If so, be sure that the login credentials and sharing ability is distributed among multiple people. That way if one person leaves or otherwise is unavailable, the stored minutes will still be accessible.
  • Regardless of how and where the minutes are stored, there needs to be a printed version available for public viewing, kept in a clearly-marked, sturdy binder. Storage media changes. Paper has never gone out of style.
  • Every few years, a church should send a copy of its minutes to the Presbyterian Historical Society for scanning and archiving.