Meetings are part of church work. At times it may feel like you need to get past all the meetings—in order to do your job.
Despite this perspective, meetings remain the primary vehicle churches use to get things done. The difference is in how productive the meeting time is managed. Here are five quick tips for leading a successful ministry meeting:
- Start on time, end on time. Part of the reason meetings can be so draining is that they don’t start until everyone is present and tend to run long. Then there is the meeting after the meeting. What was scheduled for one hour quickly turns into two. Value people by respecting their time.
- Manage the size of your meeting. Nothing will shut down a meeting quicker than too many people. Either there will be too many voices to contend with, or some attendees will be silenced by the overwhelming number of people. On the other hand, you don’t want too few people, especially when making decisions that others will have to carry out. For a healthy balance, 4 to 12 people is recommended.
- Have the right people in the room. Ensure that the people attending the meeting are getting the most out of the time by making sure they need to be there in the first place.
- When it comes to action items, don’t leave the room without answering who will do what. It’s very easy to think that “they” will do it. Assign people to action items with a deadline for completion.
- Proper preparation produces wins. If attendees can come prepared to contribute to the meeting, they will feel like their voices are heard, and leaders will receive proper feedback. Everyone
- Always find the W.I.N – What’s Important Now. A million things clamor for your attention. If you don’t identify what is most important at this moment, you’ll expend a lot of energy getting nothing done.
[Editor’s Note: Excerpted from the book, Practical Stuff For Pastors: Managing People, Group Publishing. Leading effective ministry teams will be part of the training this fall in the course, “Building an Equipping Church” offered both online and onsite at Group. Check it out!]
I’m glad to see you touch on giving people direction to action instead of simply expecting them to do it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a meeting in the past (previous church or otherwise) where there were things to be done that weren’t being specifically assigned, only to have everyone scrambling to get them done and doubling down on activities that only needed one person to complete. Thank you for sharing.