How to Lead Great Staff Meetings

When I first started leading a staff team I didn’t know how to run our meetings. Up to that point I had only lead volunteer teams. Usually you can’t get all your volunteers together for a 10am meeting every Tuesday because most volunteers work another job. Our meetings (which were about once a month) were mainly for training and encouragement.

Photo courtesy of http://weighyourmind.com/

Photo courtesy of http://weighyourmind.com/

So when I finally was able to hire a staff (some part-time and some full-time) we were able to meet during office hours. And I was excited about that. But many of those first meetings were awful because I didn’t know what I was doing.

Over time, through reading about and observing others leading great staff meetings, I tweaked how I ran my meetings and they became much more enjoyable and productive for everyone. Here’s a breakdown of how our staff meetings look right now:

1. Start with praise reports, people updates, and prayer requests
The first few minutes of just about all our meetings start with our team sharing wins from the week. That may be a great conversation with a parent, a kid who “got it” from the weekend’s teaching, or even a personal win at home. These stories help fuel us for the coming week.

After that our directors share any major issues or changes to families or key players on their teams followed by prayer requests from their areas of focus and personal lives. Then we’ll spend a minute or two praying for those things. This time of sharing helps to bring us closer together as a team.

2. Have your team give updates on key initiatives
At any given time we’ll have 3 – 5 key projects or initiatives going on that are the main focus for our whole year (I talk more about this here). I’ll review our rallying cry for the current season of ministry and have our staff share where they’re at in helping to make this a reality. These few minutes of vision-casting keep us aligned with where we’re going and what’s most important.

3. Focus on one or two key topics
The above items usually take no more than 10 minutes. After that we spend the rest of our meeting (about 45 minutes) brainstorming or planning out a key program, event, or change in our ministry. Most of the time we focus on one item but sometimes we split the time with two. We almost never do three. If something else requires our attention that week we’ll schedule another meeting to talk about it so we can do our best work with what’s on the agenda.

Side Note: Once a month during this time we do a book club. Prior to the meeting we’ll read a chapter or two out of a leadership-type book and talk about it. Afterwards we’ll all go out to lunch. Sometimes we pay for ourselves; sometimes I’ll pay for everyone.

5. Share important information
During the last few minutes I’ll share a few informational items like an update on our building project, staff changes, what we’ll will be talking about in next week’s meeting, etc. I keep this time short (usually 2 – 3 minutes). I only share big information here. Everything else informational is shared via email or one-on-one meetings.

6. End with a review of information and action items
This is to make sure we’re all on the same page on who needs to do what, when and to make sure we haven’t missed anything. It’s also a great written record for future reference. At the end of our meeting our secretary will type everything up, email it to us, and file it on our server. Here’s a recent agenda with all our notes.

Incorporating these elements into meetings with your staff will help all of you have more clarity about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how to work better together.

How do you run your staff meetings?

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