Making Meetings Matter

Coffee cup, standing on the daily organizer.As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Two things in life are certain, death and taxes…” perhaps he should have added “meetings.” We went into children’s ministry because we love ministry to kids… and yet, we find ourselves in a LOT of meetings! I am amazed at the number of meetings children’s ministry leaders have to attend. I’ve had friends share with me how overwhelmed they are by meetings. A few have told me they have over twenty meetings a week. One said, “I’m being meetinged to death!”

So when I started my new children’s pastorate one of my first orders of business was to make sure I got control of meetings. Not only did I not want to attend more than necessary, but I didn’t want to meet my own leaders and volunteers to death.

So I asked a few of my friends for their tips on meetings, and developed a set of rules that would guide the meetings that I called. At my first team meeting, I established the following guidelines. Perhaps you may find them helpful. You are welcome to use and modify as you need for your own ministry:

Team Commitments and Roles

  1. When there is not a reason to meet, we will not meet.
  2. We will have an agenda for each meeting.
  3. Silence means consensus. (In other words, speak up!)
  4. Minutes will be emailed to team members within 48 hours of the meeting.
  5. We will come prepared for each meeting.
  6. We will commit to be candid and open to one another.
  7. We will respect the right to disagree, but operate in unity.
  8. We will keep confidential matters confidential.
  9. We will use email for FYI not decision making.
  10. No meetings outside the meeting.
  11.  When there is an emergency, it is executive decision time.
  12.  We are all on each others teams; TEAM = Together Everyone Accomplishes More!

BONUS: Anyone can say “Rabbit Trail!” or “NEXT” (politely) to keep us focused and moving forward.

As we went through these, they generated healthy conversation on what each of us values when it comes to meetings and how we can make them the most productive. If you have any questions on any of these, comment below and I’ll explain in more detail.

Feel free to post your own “meeting tips” or “rules.” I don’t want to see anyone dying from Meetingtomuchotosis!

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