Staff meetings can be as satisfying as homemade bread or as stale as yesterday’s toast. As a leader, you want to serve up valuable meetings. The key is using the right ingredients and keeping it fresh.
The word meeting has gotten a bad rap, and for good reason. Tell someone you’re going to one, and they’ll say, “Oh man, sorry about that,” or, “Hope it goes quickly.” And it’s true! Meetings are notoriously boring, lop-sided in participation, and way too long. But they don’t have to be.
How can you ensure your organization’s Staff Meetings are worthwhile?
It’s natural to put on your CEO hat and plan Staff Meetings that are informative and productive. But put on your “BOC” hat instead, and plan from a Body of Christ perspective. Think of your staff members as brothers and sisters in Christ engaged in kingdom work. Realize they’re ultimately serving their King, the true CEO of your ministry. And remember their King is also their heavenly Father, so He wants to nurture them as they serve. With this perspective, your meetings will be informative and productive, and they’ll also be replenishing and inspiring.
3 Primary Ingredients for Great Staff Meetings
- Connect with God. As our Father, God is relational and longs to spend quality time with us. At our ministry, we engage with God for about 45 minutes of a three-hour Staff Meeting. We invite staffers to lead the time, and it might include musical worship, an inspirational story, drama, a creative activity, a scriptural focus with journaling, etc.
We also talk with God throughout our meetings. If we discuss an important area of outreach or a new dimension to a fundraiser, we ask a few staffers to pray for His blessing. When staffers join or leave our ministry, we gather around them for a special time of prayer.
- Connect with One Another. As sons and daughters of God, we’re family members. We want to know each other as people, not just as coworkers. We devote portions of the meeting to a thought-provoking question or spiritually-encouraging topic. Sometimes we do this is as a whole group; sometimes in small groups. Or we may engage in an activity or lesson from a client curriculum, or work through a spiritual gifts inventory.
- Connect with Mission. God is purposeful in everything He does, and He invites us into His specific mission for our organization. We discuss the latest initiatives within our ministry – whether client-related, employee-related, or new resources we’re developing for the Church. Often, staffers from various departments provide updates, so we can value each aspect of the ministry and stay current with what God’s doing. Occasionally, we watch a pertinent video, allowing God to stir our hearts anew.
3 Secondary Ingredients of Great Staff Meetings.
- Fun and laughter. Get a bunch of people together who love God, love each other, and love their shared mission, and there will be lots of conversation, laughter, and heartfelt tears.
- Breathing space and flexibility. Keep your schedule open-ended, with room for some segments to go longer and others to be omitted, and your staffers will appreciate the relaxed pace.
- Coffee and treats. Nothing fancy. Just a few essential beverages and a few simple snacks will go a long way in providing the “comforts of home.”
Meetings can be content-heavy and relationally weak, or lightweight and frivolous. The best meetings have ample time for connecting with God and one another, on mission together.
“The best meetings have ample time for connecting with God and one another, on mission together.” - Lisa Hosler
What elements or activities do you most appreciate in your organization’s Staff Meetings? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.