We often don’t think about staff meetings until we’re about to lead them. In the midst of our busy schedules, we need something to jump-start our preparation.
Set aside time before each meeting to remind yourself of what you need to cover and who you’re going to celebrate. Even better, create a weekly checklist.
Use this resource to help you create themes for each week. Once you go through this list, you can repeat it, or chose a couple of staff members to help you plan the next eight meetings.
Week 1: Leadership
Once a month, focus on leadership development. Search for leadership development articles (a simple Google search will give you great options. It will take you to numerous helpful blogs.) Read the short article and have a discussion with your staff on how you can apply it.
Week 2: Gratitude
On the second week of the month, prompt your staff to tell your volunteers thank you. Encourage them to think of a volunteer who’s doing a great job and write him or her and note of gratitude and encouragement. Think about this quote: “What’s rewarded is repeated.” A thank-you note reinforces the positive actions of your volunteers.
Week 3: Community
Even though people are busy, you have to make time for community or your staff will suffer and go through the motions. Team lunch is a great way to build community. If your budget can afford it, go for it. Or, if you have volunteers who would be willing to cook for your staff once a month, eating together is a great way to find out what’s going on in everyone’s life. Create memories and traditions around this time together.
Week 4: Planning
Spend this staff meeting planning what’s coming up. Get ahead. Identify the roadblocks that will keep your staff from getting ahead. Remove as many of them as you can.
Week 5: Vision
Vision has been described as the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. It’s also been defined as being able to see beyond the present into a future reality. It’s the WHY behind what you do and where you’re going. Vision produces focus, prevents burnout, creates alignment, gives significance, fosters communication, and rallies people.
Use this staff meeting to raise the flag of your vision. The best way to do this is by sharing stories of life change within your congregation. Or, have a couple of members of your congregation record quick, encouraging videos on their phone. Show those at staff meeting and connect it back to your vision. What’s rewarded is repeated, so celebrate staff members who are doing things that reinforce your church’s vision.
Week 6: Health
One of the bad habits that staffs can fall into is celebrating people who are overworking. Gary Thomas, in his book Pure Pleasure, writes about a three-year span when he lived an unwise schedule. One of his friends confronted him, “Gary, by living your life the way you are, you are choosing one of three things: a heart attack, a nervous breakdown, or an affair.” Tiredness is extremely dangerous to our lives.
There will be seasons that are busier than others for your employees, depending on their department. But work hard to promote healthy human beings, not workaholics on your team. Use this staff meeting to focus on one aspect of health: rest, relationships, joy, etc. Remind your staff that they are not superhuman. And ALWAYS encourage them to prioritize their families.
Week 7: Unity
So often staff members focus only on their jobs. While it’s important for people to get their work done, it’s also important that your staff has an attitude of unity. As a leader, you can’t force this. But you can highlight the value of departments wanting other departments to win. You can show how the early church demonstrated this. You can reject the idea of people working in silos. And you can celebrate staffers who helped people win in other departments.
Week 8: Fun
“Fun” sums it up. Create a stress-free, enjoyable meeting that allows your staff members to connect with each other. Thank them profusely for what they do. Again, eating together is a great way to foster fun. Allow your team to relax in a low-key atmosphere.