Do you “struggle” with staff meetings as much as I do? I’ve been leading them for 30 years, and they’ve always been a challenge to keep fresh and productive. Some of my struggle can been traced to my early years in ministry as a staff member. I never had an example of leading a staff meeting well. I had one pastor who seemed to be angry about something every week, and staff meeting was simply his time to vent. I was a part of his captive audience! Then we would talk about a few dates, upcoming events, pray, and conclude the meeting. For many years, I led staff meetings the same way, except for the anger and venting.
Now I take the approach that I am the mentor of the group. It’s the posture of “walking alongside the team” to invest in and guide them so they have the best chance for success. If they succeed, I succeed!
One of the team begins our meetings with a 10- to 15-minute discussion-based Bible study that addresses an area of leadership. We pray for wisdom and then allow the following six words guide our agenda.
- Celebrate- We spend a few minutes mentioning wins and things we can celebrate. It’s easy for some to get off track, speak of challenges, or to begin solving problems here, so it’s important to keep everyone focused.
- Care- We speak about pastoral needs in the congregation and staff, and we briefly pray for them. It’s important everyone on the team is aware these pastoral needs, not just the Care Pastor.
- Calendar- We begin this segment by listing “OLD” items we must finalize, and “NEW” items to discuss. We look 3-6 months forward to make sure our calendars are in sync. We also look at key events 30-60 days out and make sure the team member responsible for the event is set up for success. The lead team member will bring their plan and logistics to the meeting where the entire team will help think through them and give input.
- Connections- We speak about new people who visited the church the previous Sunday, give a report about follow-up communication since Sunday, and who will reach out to them next. We also provide updates on the status of prospects that are up to six weeks old. Have they signed up for a membership luncheon? Who has met with them face-to-face? What’s their spiritual status?
- Challenges- This a time for anyone to talk about key challenges they are facing. The entire team is invited into the “problem-solving discussion.” It also helps break down walls among staff members as they are encouraged to pray for these challenges and are invited to work together to solve them.
- Communication- Each week, I send a key communication to the entire church by email. We finish our meeting by determining what is to be included in the email. We also decide what is to printed in the weekly church bulletin and what should be mentioned from the stage as an announcement the following Sunday.
If you lead a staff, how do you make your staff meetings count?