We’ve all been a part of that meeting. Whether it’s a large event that seems to be a pain to put on every year or an organization that is poor at getting things done – you’d rather eat chalk than sit through another meeting where you’re counting ceiling tiles.
Do meetings have to be like this?
Can they be… dare I say… fun?!
Your staff meetings today should be! If they’re not, or if you just want to improve them, here are some ways you can make your staff meetings more productive and all around enjoyable.
1. Choose a leader.
Pastors have a lot on their plate. That isn’t to say other staff members don’t, but just that it is not a requirement for them to also have to lead staff meetings.
Maybe there is someone on your staff with great administration skills or someone that you’ve seen potential in and want to give them opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
This is the perfect time to put them to work.
Set a time, appoint your leader, and be clear about what your expectations are from them.
2. Clarify the purpose of the meeting.
Meetings typically have one of three purposes:
- Problem Solving
- Sharing Information
Figure out what the purpose of your meeting is and who you’re going to bring alongside you. If you’re brainstorming ideas for an event, don’t bring logical people who are going to ask “hows”. Those people belong in the problem solving or strategic meetings. Those people can help you get things done. Instead, bring creative people who are going to spit ideas at you.
Choose the purpose of your meeting and don’t try to mix meetings.
3. Start on time AND end on time.
It’s Monday morning. Your alarm went off 25 minutes before you actually got up. You scarf down a muffin, if you’re lucky, and fiddle to get your keys in your purse/pocket, which is taking an extraordinarily long time because of the laptop case, two books, and coffee you’ve shoved into your other arm.
On your way to work, you’re going over the agenda you wrote yesterday in your head. Your chest gets tighter and you have a headache as you get closer to your church. You find yourself dreading having to lead this meeting. You end five minutes late and you’re so frazzled that you can’t focus or be at your best.
We often get upset when others waste our time, but we may not feel a sense of urgency when we waste others. When you start a meeting and end a meeting when you said you would, you are communicating to your staff that you are serious about what you’re doing, you’re consistent, and you respect their time.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be personal. You can ask how people are doing, what they need prayer for, etc. Just learn how to work that into the meeting. Learn how to time manage and if you find yourself going on a rabbit trail, that’s okay. Just bring it back in. Know when you still need to hash stuff out or when you’re just rambling on.
Most of us go into staff meetings trying to think about everything that needs improvement. This is a good thing.
While criticism is beneficial and evaluations should be made, I think the secret to people flourishing is encouragement.
Think about yourself. When people are constantly telling you what you could be doing better, and they’re rarely telling you what you’re excelling at, don’t you often feel defeated? Like you’re not sure what the point is of continuing a job that you’re clearly not good at?
BUT when you feel like you’re doing your job (or at least a part of it) right, it gives you the motivation and a drive to want to do better. To make those improvements that need to be made.
Meet people where they’re at. Find out what they love. What they’re good at. Build from there. Shout them out in a meeting, on a Sunday morning, or devote time in your meeting for your staff to brag on each other. A little encouragement can go a long way here.
4. Have the same agenda every single week.
No, this does not mean talking about the same thing every week.
Having the same agenda each week means that you should format the same agenda each week. Maybe you’d like to start each meeting with 5-10 minutes of “high-fives” to brag on each other, share encouraging stories you heard throughout the week, or opening your meeting in prayer.
You might want to take your next twenty minutes or so to go over numbers or big issues that need to be addressed.
End it the same way too.
It may be helpful to keep a Google Doc somewhere so that your staff can see it and brainstorm beforehand.
Following these practical steps can help create some of your most productive, stress-less staff meetings yet. Remember that clarity, delegation, and encouragement can go a long way.
So What's Next?
You're supposed to lead your staff and develop leaders in your church, but where do you start?
To make it simple we created a FREE resourced called the Senior Pastor's Guide to Leading a Staff. This simple guide will help you with practical ideas and resources on leading a staff intentionally and consistently.
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