Those of us in ministry leadership love to call meetings. I’m convinced most of the Starbucks boom of the last 5 years was a result of ministry leaders meeting with their teams!
Leaders love to meet because they love to talk. In fact that’s usually why we meet, so we can talk and our peeps will be forced to listen to us! :) Then when we are done, we really feel like we’ve communicated though no one else spoke a word.
I’ve sat through countless meetings and led many myself. In all, there were only a handful that really warranted bringing everyone out and away from their families an extra night of the week.
Here are a few tips on planning and executing a constructive ministry meeting:
1. Stop! Do you really need to call a meeting to communicate what you need to share? Could the information be sent in an email? Would it be more appropriate to call each person individually? You should only call a group meeting if the information is too sensitive to share in an email and is relevant to everyone in the group. 9 out of 10 meetings I attend should never have happened.
2. Once you decide that a meeting is the only option, give people a couple of meeting time options. If you have to lead the same meeting 3 times to accommodate everyone’s schedule, then that’s your job as the leader.
3. Send a detailed agenda in advance. If I am being asked to take time out of my busy schedule to meet, then at least give me the option of deciding if it’s worth my time. I’ve sat through countless meetings where the leader gave a handout, then read it to everyone and that was the meeting. This only frustrates people.
4. Set a time limit and keep it. Don’t say “I’m going to get you out of here in an hour” then rattle on for 2 hours. This says to the group, “you have nothing better to do than to listen to me babble”.
5. Have someone take notes. If someone can’t make the meeting, don’t punish them by not sharing the meeting information. Have someone take decent notes that you can email to team members that could not make it.