Are staff meetings really necessary? Some pastors have told us that they consider them a waste of time ("There's only the three of us, and the other two are part-time. Aren't hallway conversations enough?"). Others confess that they consider staff meetings a burden ("It feels like one more event I have to plan") or even a source of dread ("I always come away with more on my to-do list"). Still others admit they used to have weekly meetings but stopped because of resistance and apathy.
We decided to see how staff meetings are run at one of the best-led churches in America, Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
A thoughtfully conceived, well-run staff meeting will improve the effectiveness of ministry in virtually any church. Moreover, great staff meetings are not hard to achieve. For more than 25 years, several important disciplines have made weekly staff meetings worthwhile at Wooddale Church.
Many churches struggle with "ministry silos"—uncoordinated ministries operating within the church but unrelated and disconnected from each other. Regular staff meetings facilitate communication and coordination among these ministries and build a sense of team. The time together allows each ministry leader to discuss challenges and opportunities and benefit from the collective wisdom of the entire team.
These meetings fortify the common purpose and activities of the church and become a time to reinforce values, clarify priorities, and support one another. Without a regular time to interact, staff teams tend to fragment. Coordination and teamwork become more difficult.
Some consultants suggest limiting meetings to only those who have to be there. Others suggest that the number of participants be no more than ten. ...