Ideas for a church staff meeting covenant

Your weekly church staff meeting is the most important meeting of the week. It is an opportunity to gather key staff leaders to celebrate victories, identify missed opportunities, communicate dates and plans, and keep focused on your stated vision and purpose.

Consider adopting a covenant with your staff about how you will handle your staff meetings week to week. Here are elements you may choose to include along with explanations and rationales:

1. We will make our weekly staff meeting a priority.

Expect your staff to avoid scheduling any personal or church business that will conflict with your weekly staff meeting. If you have a person answering phones while you are in staff meeting, direct them to avoid interrupting the meeting for anything except serious emergencies.

2. We will follow a pre-set agenda and have a designated meeting leader.

As the staff meeting leader, you should prepare a one-page agenda outline. Each person at the meeting should have a copy of this agenda. Consider organizing your agenda into a review of the past week, items for decisions, and finally, discussion and communication of coming events. We pray at the beginning and at the end of the meeting but do not usually do any type of devotional.

Your job as the staff meeting leader is to keep the staff meeting on task while not stifling the work of the Holy Spirit. Be prepared with reports with good information. Staff should have a report of the past weeks participation levels including group participation, worship participation, and a report of your church’s financial stewardship and evangelism outcomes.

Let individuals know ahead of time if they need to be prepared to present something to the group. Give them clear instructions on what you expect (handouts, time, tone, outcome, etc.).

3. We will leave our mobile phones off and agree about computer use during meetings.

You will need to discuss this openly with your staff because some staff members may use their phones or computers to take notes, make calendar changes, or to gather information. In our staff meetings, phones and computers are left off.

4. We will focus on the one person who is speaking and give them our full attention.

As the meeting leader you will enforce this for everyone. As you adopt this covenant, explain to the group your clear expectations that when someone is speaking, the group will show respect by listening, avoiding interrupting, and avoiding side conversations.

Lead your team to have an environment of open and honest communication where men and women are given equal treatment (gender neutrality). Also lead your team to respect the opinions of every staff member regardless of their role (role neutrality).

5. We will not use staff meetings to attack or embarrass to get our way.

As the staff meeting leader, remind your staff and demonstrate that criticism is private and praise is public. Monitor statements that persons make that embarrass another staff members. Monitor negative humor or passive aggressive behavior.

6. We will celebrate the work God is doing in and through us by mutual encouragement.

Develop a positive and encouraging atmosphere. Take time in you staff meeting to celebrate baptisms, spiritual breakthroughs, successful ministry events, acts of kindness and the part that individual staff members played in each.

Ask your staff to forward you encouraging e-mails or make copies of notes or letters they receive. At appropriate times, read these aloud during staff meeting. Seek ways to do this while making sure the ultimate credit goes to God.

7. We will end the meeting with agreement on next actions and persons accountable for those actions, and the time frame in which they are to be completed.

Craig Webb is pastor for vision and purpose at Gladeville Baptist Church, Gladeville, Tennessee. He is the editor of the Pastors Today e-Newsletter from LifeWay Christian Resources.

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