As intentional interim pastors, we’ve led our fair share of church staff meetings over the years. And while there is no one “right way” to conduct them, we have come up with some tips that we feel can be easily implemented, and that also make for better staff meetings. We call the list “The Five Ds of Leading a Staff Meeting, “ and we think it can serve as a handy guide for any pastor who regularly leads meetings attended by church staff members. It can also give you a little glimpse into how we would approach staff meetings, should you bring one of our interim pastors in to serve in your church.
It is important that each staff meeting includes some time in the word and in prayer. This may seem obvious in the church setting, but it sometimes gets overlooked in the haste to get through the meeting’s agenda. Church teams must take the time to pray together and read the word together. This should not be a time for you to rehearse next Sunday’s sermon, but rather a time for your entire staff to look to God’s word, be still, and intercede for the church and for each other.
This important aspect of a staff meeting is what helps your staff grow as people and as employees. This could involve reading a relevant article, teaching a skill that will help your staff do their jobs more effectively, or planning to attend a conference or staff training event. Consider the time your spend on staff development as an investment in the people you work with, as well as in the church.
Don’t just focus on what needs to happen in the church before next Sunday, but also take the time to discuss how each ministry is working toward the church’s overall vision or mission. You can also use this time to strategize and discuss the specifics of how your church is going to get where it’s going, and to brainstorm about new ideas.
The staff that plays together stays together! Take some time to have some fun and just enjoy being together. Eat lunch together before the meeting officially begins (bonus points if the church brings in a catered lunch!). Come prepared with some “ice breaker” questions that will reveal interesting and little-known details about your staff members. Make plans to get out of the office and do something fun all together. This can be as simple as going on a short hike or something bigger like going on a retreat—anything that will keep things from being all serious business all the time.
An interim pastor can bring a new perspective to a church staff in need of change, but even permanent pastors can freshen things up with a few simple changes, like the ones outlined above.
Use the time you have for staff meetings as a chance to grow together, dream together, and enjoy each other, and not just as a time to talk about church business. You will likely be rewarded for your efforts with a happier, more cohesive, more productive staff.