A few of my favorite demotivators from Despair, Inc. are the ones describing the pointlessness of many meetings, committees and teams:
Meetings. None of us is as dumb as all of us.
Teamwork. A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.
Committees. Just like teamwork. Only without the work.
The humor in those statements illustrates the discomfort we feel when meetings lack purpose and clarity or last longer than they should. You’ve probably been a part of meetings that obscured the solution and created more, not less, confusion.
Healthy Team Meetings
Make the right adjustments to become a good meeting leader. Make staff meetings as much about motivating and encouraging people as about the meeting’s agenda. Be prepared and efficient, maintaining forward momentum. Encourage the team with a summary of what your meeting accomplished.
Consider a few ideas for more effective team meetings:
- Make it fun. Praying for personal needs, recognizing important life moments and celebrating team wins are all part of healthy staff culture. Make staff meetings as much about motivating and encouraging people as about the meeting’s agenda.
- Be prepared. Set a clear agenda and focus the meeting. It can be frustrating to attempt to do too much in a meeting. Limit the scope of the discussion and save “rabbit holes” for sidebars or e-mail.
- Be efficient. Everyone should know what’s expected of them before they set foot in the meeting. Communicate a meeting’s purpose in advance so the team can be prepared. And don’t be afraid to cancel a scheduled meeting when it isn’t needed or when the team just needs to take a break.
- Keep it moving. Meetings should be brief, lasting only as long as needed to accomplish their purpose. Manage the length of meetings and consider ways to maintain forward momentum. Scott Dobroski, community expert at Glassdoor, advises: “If you’re going to meet in person, determine how much time you need and then challenge yourself to slice it by 50%.”
- Detail the action plan. Making assignments to team members (and the team leader) reduces the length of meetings and provides accountability for next steps. Identify items and ideas that require follow up and clarify who’s responsible for making it happen.
- Encourage your team. Did everyone leave with a sense of accomplishment? You may not have all the answers you were looking for, but you should have a takeaway. Summarize what was accomplished so everyone leaves the meeting encouraged, motivated and satisfied.
Meeting Hero (e-book)
“Say No to Meetings” by Andrea Murad, Fox Business (April 29, 2015), http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2015/04/29/say-no-to-meetings/.
Typical Meeting Formats
Purpose, organizational structure and team dynamics drive meeting frequency and content. Ministry meetings fall into several categories, depending on church size and context.
Team meetings usually include:
- Full Team Meetings – Full staff team, information purpose
- Ministry Staff Meetings – Ministry leads and directors
- Senior Lead Meetings – Upper level leaders, strategy purpose
- Departmental Meetings – Full ministry staff, operations purpose
Multisite churches plan regular meetings for campus teams and global meetings for ministry coordination on multiple campuses. Campus meetings occur weekly in most churches. Global team meetings usually take place monthly.