Staff meetings often feel like frustrated, fast food drive-thru lines: Everyone is there, but in a hurry to be somewhere else. When drivers take too long and orders are confused, drivers begin to stew in anger, silently wondering if it was worth it.
Your staff is asking the same question. In the midst of busy ministry, staff meetings become the thing everyone agrees is important, but cannot name the rationale. The lack of direction creates not only drift from your intended purpose, but also resentment among the staff.
One of the most important tasks of leadership is guiding your shared time together, effectively stewarding your resources so that vision is shared, staff is empowered, and the work of the Holy Spirit is named and celebrated. Here’s how to do that in 30 minutes or less.
- Reminding (5 -10 minutes)
This is not the nostalgia of yesteryear but rather an intentional reminder of the unique calling God has placed on your church. Throughout the story of God, God reminds his people who he is, what he has done, and what they are to do. Leadership is not only discerning calling, but also reminding and challenging others to live into it.
Best Practices: share a formational devotional; sharing where you have seen the congregation or the staff living into the church’s call; share your thoughts on the church’s call; share news from the world and how the church’s call equips it to help
- Celebrating (10 minutes)
God wove celebration into Israel’s DNA via yearly festivals and weekly Sabbath. It was this calendar that reinforced who Israel was and what God was capable of doing. Thus, celebration becomes a discipline that gives the organization identity and congregations momentum.
Best Practices: Invite staff to answer the question: where did you see God at work in the past week / month?
- Collaborating (10 – 15 minutes)
Fundamental to the story of God is God’s ongoing activity in the world. God is constantly moving and consistently calling us to join him. We join God’s redemptive work in big and small ways. How is this happening in your church? How is this happening in various ministry areas? How can staff work together to join the Holy Spirit?
Best Practices: Invite staff to share one or two upcoming things they are excited about. Is there opportunity for staff to work together for a larger impact?
In thirty minutes or less, you and your staff have reclaimed your calling, celebrated the work of God in the church, and dreamed about the way forward.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 30-minute staff meetings only work via disciplined leadership and preparation. Further, 30-minute staff meetings assume that big picture conversations and personal check-ins are happening outside of the weekly or monthly staff meetings.
IMPORTANT NOTE PART TWO: Don’t be so slavishly devoted to the 30-minute window to squelch the movement of the spirit. Don’t be afraid to improvise on this form or schedule a longer, more focused meeting for a later time.