We can all make our meetings worthwhile and productive by having the right agenda, the right people in the room, and the correct timing. But how do we know what to put on the agenda?
I don’t know specifically what’s going on at your church, but let me offer three categories that will help you build a great agenda and thereby create a better meeting.
1) Discuss items that are “broken” and need to be improved.
Too many churches pretend everything is ok and it’s not. It’s vitally important that you have the ability to be honest about your ministry realities. Tell the truth, and get the topic on the table. It’s essential that you have the ability first to know something is broken, and then to select the right thing to work on first.
Your chances for improvement are infinitely better if you get candid, dig in and tackle it head on. There is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting talking about irrelevant issues when there are problems that need leadership to resolve them. The essential point here is that these conversations should be based on solutions not complaints.
2) Discuss items in process that are being developed.
You’ve probably heard it said that “It’s the grind that will get you.” Meaning, the constant and unrelenting nature of ministry will wear you down. There is truth to that, but the greater truth is that if you don’t have enough grit to trump the grind you won’t make it in ministry.
As leaders it’s our job to stick with projects and ministry development until it’s finished and it works. Don’t “dump it and run” because it gets hard. I’ve had many items on an agenda for months and months because it takes that much effort to develop it right and lead it out effectively. What are you working on? What are you making better? Keep working on it!
3) Discuss items that involve innovation, change and the future.
There are not as many of these items on the agenda. Probably 80% of your time goes into improving things that are broken and developing things (ministries, support systems, staff etc.) as you lead them. However, an absence of future-oriented discussion is dangerous; it’s a threat to the vision of your church.
You may not have a topic of this nature on the agenda at every top level meeting, but as a general frame of reference, if you aren’t discussing one item that involves change for a better future about once a month, you are likely getting behind the curve.
Here’s a helpful idea, take this post to your next staff meeting and have an honest evaluation of your meetings.
- What’s broken and needs to be improved?
- How are we making progress in current development?
- What innovative change are we working on to be better in the future?