Ideas that have worked well for church staff meetings
1. Eating together. Staff meetings that start with brown-bag lunches (okay, Mac or Burger) get people relaxing and talking and being a team.
2. Getting to know each other, A great way: Each person, only one each week, Gets seven minutes, give or take 10 seconds, to give a carefully planned list of “The Ten Biggest Events or Decisions of My Life.” (Not counting birth, which is too obvious.). When she or he is done, guaranteed teammates will understand why the person is the way they are. I went first as senior pastor, to model candor; everyone seemed honest, and it built the team.
3. Having each department take ten minutes and tell their best emphases at the present and any new hopes for the next six months. This is followed by questions and suggestions from the rest of staff, who go in on the plans because they are in the know.
4. Staying away from the boring calendar lists that dominate many staff meetings.
5. Praying together on Fridays just for Sunday services. The worship leader took thirty seconds to summarize the worship theme and I the same to summarize the sermon and its target. Everyone joined in to pray for Sundays, becoming co- owners.
6. Learning to pray together following the P-R-A-Y guide: Praise, where many do that with a one-sentence praise to God; Repent or confess, where the leader calls for a quiet personal time to search the heart, and then gives an assurance of forgiveness; then Ask is in groups of 3-5, and you pray for “something you are worried about,” and then someone near you backs it up with a support prayer. (This does do away with the all-too-normal long time for prayer requests and the very short time actually to pray!)
7. Fun events every three months at staff time — pickle ball tourney, volleyball, lunch together at a restaurant, a picnic outdoors, a lunch with another church staff, a tour of a museum, and the sort.
8. A careful weekly normal staff agenda that includes the above plus the input about Sundays (but not just that or the preaching pastor is the target every week!), a discussion about reaching new people — that should involve all the staff in a small or large church; and how staff are experiencing their required small discipleship-accountability group of five or six.
Plus a little bit of careful discussion about current events and world events and the changing landscape of morality and ethics. How do we pray? What do we say? What shows up in groups and in the pulpit.
Plus input on needs in areas of volunteerism, witness, good works in the city or village, and world missions.
Plus major care for people in crisis or need, with any staff of three or more in pastoral-people roles taking “horizontal pastoring” (ideas and discipleship and advisory for an adult age group).
… Lunch and joy together
… Prayer of thanks for food and each other and especially grace of God … Song of worship if larger staff
… Current events we should all care about
…”Ten events or decisions that shaped my life”. (One at a time.) …Presentation by a department (Each does once a quarter.) …Sunday review and preview
…”Command performances” coming up — where all staff is needed …Appreciation for a recent particular
…People and pastoral needs and who will follow up
…”Senior moment” — theology or a challenge …P-R-A-Y to close. 60-75 minutes, same noon each week when possible.