This has been a week of meetings. I am not complaining for that is the nature of our work at my church (or any church, for that matter): meeting with one another and with members to help advance God's purpose in their lives and and the lives of the church. So far this week, I have had:
- One Servant Team meeting (the department heads of the church, every Tuesday afternoon) -- 2 hours
- One Elders meeting (once a month on the first Tuesday) -- 3.5 hours
- One Ministry Team meeting (those involved in pastoral ministry, every Wednesday morning) -- 1.5 hours
- One Admin Pastor meeting (even Thursday with two other pastors) -- 2 hours
That is nine hours of business meetings. Add to that additional planning sessions with my colleague Blaine that required about two hours.
Then i have my purpose counseling meetings. This week I had five of them, which required about six hours of meetings. Spread out over the fours days in the office this week (Tuesday through Friday), I spend about half my day in meetings or preparing for meetings. I am not trying to eliminate any of these meetings. As my friend Pat Lencioni wrote and said, it's not that we have too many meetings in our lives (I would highly recommend Pat's book, Death by Meeting, as a good read on this subject). The problem is that we have too many bad and ineffective meetings. I love to see people come together and get work done as a team and often that comes from having very good meetings.
My objective for any meeting is to:
- Keep them as short as possible.
- Prevent them from degenerating into squabbles.
- Have fun and laugh.
- Make sure everyone is clear on what we agreed to do and who will do it.
- Look everyone there in the eye to see how they are doing.
- Watch, look and listen with skill and discernment.
- Schedule any necessary follow up meetings.
For my one-on-one purpose meetings, I want to help people ask the Lord better questions so they can get better answers and to help them see what they are really saying and doing. Someone once said that it's not that people and organizations can't fix their problems, it's that they cannot see their problems to fix them. Once they see them, they have a better chance of correcting them.
I continue to be a student of how to get things done through people and that means I must skillfully lead or participate in good meetings. If you have any tips of how you lead a meeting or any observations as a participant in meetings that would be helpful, please pass them along to my readers.