very week, we have a staff meeting at the church I pastor. We also have a board meeting once a month with our elected church leaders. As the lead pastor, I provide oversight in each of these meetings. In previous churches, I was never good at overseeing these meetings. The meetings would go on and on, and people would be exhausted by the end. But as I’ve learned to put five principles into practice, our meetings have changed for the better.
First, we use meetings as a time for investing and equipping others. Many times, church meetings are only about administrative tasks. However, meetings can also be a great opportunity to invest in and equip others. I begin every meeting by spending about ten minutes equipping our people to become better leaders. I typically select a topic such as servant leadership, characteristics of great leaders, or sharing faith outside the church. These brief equipping times have turned out to be a great way to begin meetings.
Second, we hold all leaders accountable. I start meetings with the staff and board by asking a set of four questions: 1) Are you in the Word every day? 2) Are you praying every day? 3) Are you living a holy life? 4) Who are you sharing your faith with?
If we seek to do these things then we will be healthier. If we are all in the Word, then we will be more likely to be in harmony with God and with one another. If we are praying, then God will move mountains. If we are all seeking to live in holiness, then God will honor our efforts. If we are all sharing our faith, then the family of God will grow.
As I’ve held leaders to these four questions in staff and board meetings, it has raised the standard of leadership in our church. Discussing these questions at meetings, has helped us keep our focus on the main things!
Third, we seek to give everyone a voice. I do not dominate our meetings by being the only voice. I try to give everyone an opportunity to speak. The reality is that we are stronger when we work together. Everyone has a voice at the table, and everyone has a right to share what they are thinking.
Fourth, we deal honestly with conflicts. We have a strict policy in our church about this. We do not sweep problems under the rug. We encourage staff and board members to deal with conflicts in a biblical way. When this happens outside of our meetings, then meetings go more smoothly. If a conflict arises in the meeting, then we will deal with it right away in a biblical manner, as well.
Finally, we delegate authority and not just tasks. Many lead pastors delegate tasks fairly well, but most of us do not delegate authority. I try my best to delegate authority to staff and board. I trust them as leaders. I want them to have the freedom to make decisions. When we have identified trusted leaders in specific areas of ministry, our meetings do not drag on, since we already trust them to do their jobs.
Since we've incorporated these five principles, our meetings are much more productive and beneficial.