Does your staff cringe over the idea of the upcoming church staff meeting, or are they anticipating time spent together hashing through topics and action points? Ideas to run successful church staff meetings are constantly being researched and implemented. The Church was designed to be a local, life-giving organism and effective church staff meetings require a discipline that comes in knowing who you are, what you’re called to, and what values you’ve agreed to that shape your approach to that calling.
Here are 8 ideas to support you in leading a successful church staff meeting:
1. Lead by example
This is more about behavior than words. Although communication is important, “walk the talk” by aligning your practices, routines, and behaviors with your core values that impact your personal and church life are critical. The purpose of leadership is to be the change you want to see in your church and community.
2. Start and end on time
Yes, delays happen. Recently I was flying out of state for a wedding. Knowing that flights were not quite as dependable as in days gone by, I booked flights with extra days ahead of the event to give me a buffer and scheduled meetings after my buffered return to accommodate any unforeseen delays. That should be the exception and not the rule, right? When you start a staff meeting on time, people will quickly learn to attend on time. If you offer donuts and coffee, set them out 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. This sets a tone and a healthy precedent for future meetings. And, if by chance you are running late, appoint someone to start the meeting in your place as a courtesy to all who are on time.
3. Have a shareable agenda
You can use many templates to focus your time and energy most effectively in your next staff meeting. The key is finding one that best fits your needs and then sticking with it. While I’m not saying there’s never going to be a better template, the point is to be consistent with your agenda. Also, sharing the agenda a few days before the meeting will be an informative precursor to the meeting and also allow anyone to advise of a missed item that should be up for discussion. I once worked in a company that included a random sentence in the agenda, such as wearing something yellow or bringing your favorite coffee mug. The intention was strictly for team building and arriving prepared to tackle the agenda.
4. Important information
News that is relevant to the ministry needs to be discussed. Something may have occurred right before the planned staff meeting, so including “New Information” in a timeslot on your shareable agenda will allot time when necessary. For example, how your church might best respond to a fire in the community the evening before could be discussed or the forecasted hurricane in a neighboring city may need some aid.
5. Recognize others
Giving everyone a chance to participate signals that you value their presence and recognize their contribution to the greater good. Understanding that there are times when the majority of the meeting may be conducted by one person let that not be the norm. Encourage reports, thoughts, and ideas to be shared; after all, iron sharpens iron.
6. Establish points of action
Deadlines are imperative in goal setting, which means you need to set up a timeline with action steps assigned to different staff to bring the idea to fruition. Establish check-in points, as well, to confirm that the task is on track. Micromanagement is no fun for anyone, but predetermined check-in dates are of a twofold benefit: accountability and verification.
7. Reach a conclusion
This should be a natural ending and not simply cut short due to time constraints. People should be confident in their next steps, along with future meetings scheduled and announced. The church staff meeting minutes should be shared the next business day based on the previously shared agenda template highlighting key issues, motions proposed or voted upon, and the next steps/activities to be undertaken.
8. Encourage feedback
Just as you want feedback from church campus first-timers and returning guests, you need to be open to receiving feedback from your staff about the meetings held. Moving ministry forward is a team effort, and better communication yields more dynamic ideas being exchanged. To start the feedback process, send a survey with a few questions. Make them short answer questions to be filled in with their responses. Be sure it time sensitive so there’s time to analyze and shift directions in the future if needed.
Make sure your staff knows they’re appreciated, and the goal is for continuous improvement in all aspects of church duties and responsibilities to glorify God.
Church staff meeting tips will change based on meeting styles, personalities, and objectives. However, Matthew 20:26-28 will always remain true, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” How to run a church staff meeting well is essential. It brings coordination and action to reaching the lost and shepherding the flock.
As the Vice President of Marketing for ACS Technologies, John is responsible for Marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Storyteller, promoter, and problem solver to churches of all sizes and shapes. John has traveled the world working with prominent non-profit ministries. He also serves on the board of directors for Dayspring.