How to Have Meetings That Don’t Suck.

Have you ever attended a meeting that was poorly planned or a waste of time? Remember how frustrated you felt? As a pastor you are always attending meetings. Some meetings you’re in charge of and others someone else. You don’t have a lot of control over someone else’s meeting but you do over the ones you lead. Whether it’s a board meeting, a leadership team meeting, or any type of planning or business meeting there are four things you can do to insure that no one ever feels your meetings were a waste of time.

Be prepared. Never come into a meeting that you haven’t adequately prepared for. When people take time out of their busy schedules to come to one of your meetings you can’t afford to “wing-it.” Your leaders will forgive you once, maybe twice, but after that they will either make up excuses for not coming or they will come but bring along with them a bad attitude. Bad attitudes never result in a productive meeting. Be prepared.

Have an agenda. The best way to develop your agenda is to ask two questions. First, what could my agenda be? Second, what should my agenda be? First you brainstorm on all the things you could talk about and then narrow it down to the most important things to talk about. Don’t try to cram too much into a two hour meeting. Have a realistic agenda.

Hand out the agenda ahead of time. You will increase the productivity of your meetings 50% by simply emailing the agenda to those who will attend at least three days before the meeting. Let them know what the meeting will be focusing on. Ask them to give the agenda some thought and prayer. You might think you’re prepared, but if you don’t have an agenda and if that agenda is not in the hands of your people ahead of time…you’re not prepared.

Don’t talk so much. Pastors talk too much and listen too little. If you don’t care about their thoughts, opinions, and ideas then don’t call a meeting. But if you do care (and I know you do) then limit your words so there will be enough time for everyone to talk. A great leader will not take up more than 10% of the meeting time talking.

Before your next meeting ask: Am I prepared? Do I have an agenda? Has that agenda been handed out ahead of time? Am I prepared to listen and ask more than talk and tell.

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