Is It Excessive? Part One: Why are we meeting about this?

We have this meeting on Thursdays where we stand around and go over the upcoming weekend, the meeting takes 15 minutes…it’s definitely the shortest one that I attend.  On Monday as a staff we eat lunch together, celebrate the weekend and have some fun (i.e. play madlibs), it’s a great way to rebound from the weekend.  I’m not a fan of meetings; however, there are meetings that I do enjoy attending.  Meetings are necessary; however, there are definitely cases when they can be excessive.   We can have too many meetings, they can run too long and they can even cover too many topics.

In Part One of the this three part series I look to uncover how meetings can be excessive, how we can make them more engaging and how to even make them a little memorable.  So let’s start with:

  • Meetings That Never End: Is there a perfect length?  Depends on the subject.  A training meeting, probably can go longer than an hour depending on the content.  A prep meeting probably should be brief (15-20mins).  There are going to be meetings that have to go long while others are just a matter of checking in.  The big secret…get ready for it…meetings need an end time.  So many times we have a start but no finish.  No finish means procrastination, tangents and distractions have free range.  
  • Meetings That Never Engage: If there is no agenda to the meeting, there is probably no vision.  That’s right even your meetings need vision.  What is it that you hope to accomplish with each meeting?  What purpose does your meeting serve?  If you can’t answer those questions, then why are you meeting?  To see that person…really…just knock on their office door and treat them to coffee.  To avoid pointless meetings, create an agenda with a vision in mind (even if it’s sharing the church’s vision) and send out the agenda ahead of time to your staff.  It shows you are prepared, it prepares them and everyone is walking in feeling good about where this is going.
  • Meetings That Are Redundant: How many meetings do you have in a week?  This is the big one because I know people who hate meetings and people who don’t think they can meet enough.  There is a magic number out there but until that’s decided on look at how your meetings are the same and how they are different.  One thing that should be in every meeting is prayer after that…everything is negotiable.  To change things up look at format (decide if the meeting will be fun, business, training, strategic, etc.), the environment (inside or out) and who runs the meeting.  You don’t have to be overly creative, just identify which meeting is for what and give it personality.

If you find that your meetings are not engaging, go on forever or repetitive then you are being excessive.  Basically, the meeting environment you want to create is one that’s going to:

  • Fuel You – Meaning motivate you through your week, to continue on in your calling.
  • Give You Margin – In meetings you can delegate, but on top of that they are meant to help you out not boggle you down.
  • Grow You – Even if it isn’t a learning meeting you need to be able to walk out knowing something you didn’t know before.

Unfortunately, there will always be one or two meetings you have to do.  However, the majority of your staff meetings or ministry meetings should not fall under excessive.  In fact it’s important to meet with staff because it’s a chance to share vision, to grow in fellowship and accomplish your mission.  If you feel as if meetings are killing you, take time to step back as a team and ask, “Are we being excessive?”
Share your thoughts about how meetings can be excessive and what you do to change things up?