Have you recently endured a pointless staff meeting?

Maybe it was an hour of debate and discussions with no real outcome.

Maybe it was a gathering of the minds not because there was something important to discuss but because something was already on the calendar.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Regularly scheduled meetings can help move the church forward when they are part of a specific system. 

But there are also times when you need to mix it up. Here are six staff meeting ideas for your next team meeting or offsite.

#1 – Six by Six

As leaders, the urgent often pulls us away from the important.

But it's even easier to get pulled away from what's important if you haven't taken time to identify what's important.

You can't focus on what you don't identify.

That's where a 6 x 6 comes in.

In Axiom, Bill Hybles, the Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community church, asks it this way:

“What is the greatest contribution I can make to the Willow Creek community in the next six weeks?”

He narrows the list to six projects and pours his energy into those over the next six weeks. Once the time is up, he does it again. This allows him to focus on what's truly important.

In your next staff meeting, take time to discuss what the six most important (not urgent) things are that should happen in your organization in the next six weeks. Make a list and narrow it down through debate and discussion.

#2 – Good, Bad, Missing or Confusing

You've heard of the good, the bad and the ugly. This is similar. It just happens in a meeting and not in the wild west.

In your next meeting, answer these four questions about your organization. These questions can help you create an honest assessment.

  • What’s good in our organization? What about each department or team?
  • What’s bad in our organization? What about each department or area?
  • What’s missing in our organization? You can get specific with different areas here, too.
  • What’s confusing in our organization? Website? Processes?

Let each person give feedback on the overall organization, but you apply the same questions to specific areas. Do this, and you’ll build a realistic picture of where you really are as an organization.

#3 – Core Value Checkup

Every organization has core values.

Some are unwritten and never discussed. Others are well-written and promoted throughout the organization.

For example…

Prestonwood Baptist Church shares their six core values on their website. So does McLean Bible Church.

Elevation calls their ten core values “The Code” and in addition to discussing on their website, you’ll find icons and graphics around their facilities.

But too often, a church’s core values aren’t truly reflected in their programs and ministries. This meeting will help you bring it together.

Write down your core values on one side of a sheet of paper or on one side of a dry erase board. Then, as a team, assign letter grades. Encourage honesty and receive feedback with grace. And don’t rush it.

As you evaluate, you’re not evaluating the core value itself, but how it’s fleshed out in your organization. Look at your last big event, your last newsletter and your last activity. Identify any gaps between what you say is important and reality.

As a follow up, you could talk about action steps and how you plan to close the gap between desire and reality.

#4 – The Responsibility Grid

Start by making a list of all the issues that could come up in your church. You could build a Google doc in advance.

Then put check marks beside the person responsible for solving the problem or handling the issue.

Your chart might look something like this…(we’ve got a full template for you inside the Church Fuel resource library):

I wonder how many staff members think that someone else is responsible for something that’s on his or her list.

Talk through real issues and push for clarity.

#5 – Create One Sentence Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are usually ridiculous. My favorite line is the last line that usually says something like “and other duties.” As if the 33 bullet points before that last one didn’t properly capture the requirements of the role.

The one sentence job description cuts through all that fluff. Take time to summarize someone’s primary contribution to the team in one single sentence.

What is the main thing? What is the one-sentence purpose of the role? What’s the one thing I do?

A two-page job profile might be helpful when recruiting for a role, but a one sentence job description will provide much better clarity.

Andy Stanley talked about the importance of one-sentence job descriptions during a talk at Catalyst and shared a few examples from his staff team:

  • Andy Stanley's Job Description: To inspire our staff and congregations to be fully engaged in our mission and strategy. 
  • Andy’s Assistant: To keep Andy’s path clear of non-essential tasks and decisions so that Andy can do what only Andy can do.
  • Northpoint CFO: To create, implement and monitor systems that ensure our organization remains fiscally secure.

We live in a sound byte, 140-character culture. Good or bad, it’s reality.

Go through each person’s role and try to sum up what they do in 140-characters or less.

#6 – Blue Sky Meeting

If you’re stuck in the details of ministry, maybe you and your team need to experience the blue sky.

Blue Sky meetings are for dreams.

Get out of the office and escape the daily grind and answer this question:  If someone gave us $1 million for ministry with no strings attached, what would we do?

Take some time to dream about the future.

Think about what could be.

Dream about the future.

Blue Sky meetings are great for prayerfully considering the possibilities and creating space to think about the future.

These six ideas are great to mix up the monotony of the regular staff meeting and provide a spark for some new thinking. But what about the regular, weekly meeting?

We have a training to help you create a regular meeting system that will actually help you focus on what’s most important in your church.

You’ll find a teaching video plus the staff meeting agenda document we recommend you use every single time you meet. It’s one of the modules inside Church Fuel.

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.

Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor's Guide to Leading a Staff today.