By Kevin McDonald

Every week, we have staff meeting at the church where I pastor. And once a month we have a board meeting with our elected church leaders. As the lead pastor, I provide oversight at each of these meetings. In the past in previous churches I was never good at overseeing these meetings. They would go on and on and people were exhausted and burned out by the end of the meetings. Through the years, however, I have learned a few things. By putting these things into practice, our meetings are more efficient and effective. Here are five ways we have developed to make our staff and board meetings more productive and beneficial:

1.Use meetings as a time for investing and equipping others.
Church meetings are often just about administrative tasks, but they can be great for investing in and equipping others. I open every meeting by spending about 10 minutes equipping our people to become better leaders. I typically select a topic such as “servant leadership,” “characteristics of great leaders,” “sharing your faith outside the church,” etc.

2. Hold all leaders accountable.
I use meetings with staff and board to ask them these four questions each time:

  • Are you in the Word every day?
  • Are you praying every day?
  • Are you living holy?
  • Who are you sharing your faith with?

If we seek to do these things then we will be okay. If we are all in the Word, then we will be united, since God will be telling us the same things. If we are praying, then God will move mountains. If we are all living holy, then God will honor our efforts. If we are all sharing our faith, then the family of God will grow.

Holding our leaders to these four principles has really has raised the bar in leadership in our church and helps keep our focus on the main things!

3. Give everyone a voice.
I don’t dominate our meetings by being the only voice. I try to give everyone a voice to speak and share. We are stronger as a team. Everyone has a voice at the table, and everyone has a right to share what they’re thinking. By doing this, everyone has the opportunity to share his or her heart.

4. Deal with conflicts.
We have a strict policy in our church about not sweeping problems under the rug. We continually encourage staff and board members to deal with conflicts in a biblical way. When this happens outside of our meetings, then our actual meetings go pretty smoothly. If a conflict arises in the meeting, then we will deal with it biblically as well.

5. Don’t just delegate tasks. Delegate authority too.
Many lead pastors delegate tasks fairly well, but most don’t delegate authority. I try my best to delegate authority to staff and board members because I trust them as leaders. Since we already trust them to do their jobs and they have the freedom to make decisions, our meetings don’t drag on and on. They have the authority to see that their ministry functions as it should, so there are fewer problems to discuss and correct during meetings.

Since incorporating these five things, our meetings are much more productive. Give them a try in your church and watch what happens!

Kevin McDonald is a lead pastor Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Murrieta, Calif. He has planted 15 new churches and travels the country speaking and teaching on church planting and church renewal.