Staff Meetings That Aren’t the Worst

If you’re like most people, you probably think church staff meetings are the worst. They are boring. They are pointless. They are a waste of time.

I used to think so too…until I ran into some good ones.

Now, I’ve completely changed my opinion of meetings. They don’t have to be a dreaded consumer of time.  They don’t even have to be a “necessary evil”. In fact, they can be incredibly helpful and even engaging.

How do you transform a meeting from “the worst” to something positive?

While I haven’t mastered every aspect of leading great ministry meetings, I have learned a few helpful tips.

Step one is structuring the meeting correctly. Here are 4 ways to help structure a great meeting.

1. What Kind of Meeting is This?

Most meetings suffer from a kind of multiple personalities disorder. In other words, we often try to make a meeting do too many things at once. A great meeting has a specific goal.

The first way to structure a great meeting is to define the purpose of the meeting. Here are some options:

The Check-In Meeting

During the summer months, my team has a check-in meeting every day. It lasts a maximum of 15 minutes and each person is responsible to share 3 things:

  1. This is what I’m working on
  2. This is what I need everyone to know
  3. This is what I need from the team

The purpose of this meeting is simply to get on the same page and run in the same direction.

The Review Meeting

Another meeting that my team often engages is the review meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to evaluate an event, program or trip. We’re providing feedback.

In this meeting, we often utilize a tool called “4 Helpful Lists”:

  1. What was Right?
  2. What was Wrong?
  3. What was Missing?
  4. What was Confusing?

This tool directs our conversation and feedback. Once everyone has provided input we create an “action steps” list to move the conversation forward.

The Strategic Meeting

A third type of meeting is the strategic meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to make a decision.

For my team, this often ends up feeling more like a debate than a meeting. It is often passionate, loud and intense. In my opinion, this is a good thing because it means the team is being honest.

It’s important to note that the strategic meeting doesn’t mean that the decision in question will be made democratically in the meeting because it often lands on the leader to make a tough decision. However, this meeting ensures that everyone on the team is heard.

All of these meetings are necessary and important. My point is simply this: do your best to communicate what type of meeting you are calling because then people will know how to prepare and act.

Combining different meetings is usually counterproductive.

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Aaron Buer

Author: Aaron Buer

A little about me: I’ve been a student pastor for 12 years and currently serve as the student ministries pastor at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Ada Bible is a multi-site church of about 9,000. Most of my time is devoted to leading my amazing team, writing curriculum, teaching, and trying to navigate the challenges of multi-site church. I absolutely love my job and the people I am blessed to serve with. I’m primarily a family guy. My wife and I have five incredibly awesome and unique kids. Most of my free time is devoted to them. When I can find time for me, I love beach volleyball, writing, fishing, video games or a good book.

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