I have something to confess: I don’t like meetings. They go too long, they require you to sit still, and I just don’t like them.
But meetings are unavoidable necessities.
So, how do you as a pastor turn those boring but necessary staff meetings into something beneficial, maybe even fun? Here are a few tips that I use.
1. Start on time.
If the meeting is on the schedule for 11AM, start on the dot. A habit of letting time drag on before starting will only elongate how long the meeting will take as a whole. And once people are used to meetings starting on time, they will start coming ready to get the ball rolling.
2. Only invite those who absolutely need to be involved.
The more people in a meeting, the more off-topic chatter and conversations. It’s easy to get side-tracked when the table is over-crowded. Also, sitting in a meeting where you’re not involved is a huge waste of time and energy.
3. Have an agenda – and stick to it.
Save the chit-chat for the next church cook-out or ice cream social. Only discuss what the agenda calls for and you’ll find the meeting runs much smoother – and quicker.
4. If you get off track, park that conversation for another meeting.
There will always be something that comes up in-between writing the agenda and the meeting itself. Those topics may very well need to be addressed, but it’s okay to save them for the next time. Or, if it’s a big enough issue, maybe it needs its own meeting at another time.
5. Listen and receive input from all involved.
Good ideas can come from anywhere. Value the input no matter who spoke up, from the associate pastor to the intern. Help your team feel comfortable sharing their ideas and thoughts with you.
6. Use these times to celebrate wins and reward extra effort.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). It’s important to focus on the good work being accomplished as we live in such a negative-focused world.
7. Realize the important team aspect of staff meetings.
Your church’s ministry is overseen and often operated by the staff. Being united as a team protects against the disruptive ways of the devil, who seeks to isolate us. Sometimes staff meetings are the only time everyone is gathered together in one room, so emphasize the importance of being a team for God’s work.
8. Look backward, inward, upward and forward.
Be aware of where you used to be and celebrate progress. Be aware of where you are and celebrate all that is being accomplished. Be aware of the future and look forward to what God has planned for your church. And be aware of all the ways God has blessed you.
9. Remember in the end it’s about people and ministry.
Staff meetings may seem boring at times, so if you need help getting excited remember that what you are talking about are missions, outreach opportunities, and spreading the good news of Christ. That’s something to be excited about!
10. End on time.
If you start on time and end on time consistently, you will see a pattern of efficiency form. People come ready to commit that hour or so fully to the agenda and it keeps all topics moving steadily.
Staff meetings don’t have to be boring.
Keep to an agenda and a schedule to make sure they move along in an organized fashion, and keep in mind that those staff meetings mean your church is making a difference in the lives of others. And you know what? That’s something to like.
Have any ideas of your own on how to make staff meetings better? Share a comment below!