Leading Better Church Ministry Meetings
I’ve been a part of as well as led quite a few meetings. Some were good, some were not so good. In terms of the ones I was responsible for, I know that I played a major part in their drudgery, mediocrity, or failure. Thankfully, I have learned how to conduct better, more meaningful church ministry meetings since then and want to share a few of those lessons with you.
Be Punctual. We all understand how unexpected things can throw us off schedule, but it should be our goal to arrive at the meeting location early and to start and end on time. This communicates, among many things, that you value people’s time. It also tends to set a precedent for your leaders.
If you are going to be late and are able, let someone know so that he or she can communicate with those who are waiting on you. And when you arrive, it would be courteous and caring to give an apology (and possibly an explanation) for your lateness.
Be Organized. Let me state the obvious: You need to have a written agenda. You may know where you are going in the meeting, but your people will not because they can’t read your mind. Distributing it prior to or at the meeting will allow your staff or volunteers to see the items that will be covered and to gather their thoughts and responses accordingly. Here is an example of my ministry leadership development meeting agendas:
1. Praying for our time together
2. Celebrating what Jesus is doing in our lives and church
3. Reviewing our Christian Education Leadership Ministry Values
Productivity: We value achieving results that will honor Jesus and benefit others (Col. 3:23-24; Ephesians 4:11-16).
4. Studying God’s Word – “LDD: Disciple-Making Disciples”
6. Praying for each other
Also, you can have an allotment of time for all or specific agenda items to help keep things efficient.
Pray. I know that is a given in church, right? What I am talking about here though is not just simply tagging a brief prayer on to your meetings as you would a blessing for a meal, but spending some quality time in prayer. Ask for prayer requests and then pray for each other. If you are leading a large staff or volunteer meeting, try breaking the group up into smaller prayer circles and then you close it out. No matter how you do it just make sure you saturate your time together in prayer.
Celebrate. Take time to celebrate the evidences of the goodness of God in Jesus among your staff, volunteers, and/or church by asking for personal and ministry praise reports. God is at work and you want to make note of that. This helps to keep your meetings from simply and solely feeling like a “business” meeting.
Cast. This is a great time to cast or re-cast the DNA (i.e., mission, vision, values, and philosophy) of your local church. As I heard someone say once, “Vision leaks.” So take the opportunity and reiterate it to them (e.g., by reading that positive email or letter that you received about your church, recounting that testimony that was shared with you by that member, sharing the number of people who Jesus saved and were baptized last week or month, etc.). People need to know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Study. Spending time studying (i.e., reading, meditating, and discussing) God’s Word in your meetings indirectly reinforces the need for this spiritual habit and the centrality of Jesus’ mission to make disciples in the life your staff and/or volunteers.
Evaluate. One of the ways you can find out how to make your meetings more effective is to periodically ask your staff members/leaders/volunteers for their evaluation. You can ask, “Is there anything that I need to change about our meetings that would make them more meaningful and productive?”
What else would you add? Comments welcome.