5 Tips for Great Church Staff Meetings

5 Tips for Great Church Staff Meetings

Aaron Buer

Digital giving apps and tools

Let’s be honest.

Most of us don’t love staff meetings.

They are often boring, too long and sometimes even irrelevant. And yet, we all know that staff meetings are a must if our teams are going to have any chance of staying on the same page.

Here’s the good news: staff meetings don’t have to be terrible. In fact, they can be constructive, compelling, and even fun.

The key is building your staff meetings around 5 energizing elements. Here they are.

1. Connect Relationally

When it comes to organization culture and team meetings in particular, Patrick Lencioni is a guru. One of his best books is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.


According to Lencioni, the foundational characteristic of a healthy team is trust.

Every high performing staff team, whether in a business or a church, displays a high level of trust. How do you build trust? You do it by building strong relationships.

The first element of a great staff meeting is relational connection. For my team, every staff meeting begins with a relational question. Here are a few examples:

  • What were the highs and lows of your weekend?
  • Tell us about the best summer of your life.
  • What was the most important moment in your childhood?
  • What is something that’s happened in your life lately that we can celebrate with you?

Over time, by asking good questions that help team members open up and share life, trust is built among the team. And, trust is the foundation of every high performing team.

2. Published Agendas

One of the leadership lessons I’ve learned recently is that not everyone thinks like I do. That might sound like a “duh” comment but hear me out.

I’m an external processor and a loud thinker. In other words, I make my mind up on new ideas by talking them out with other people.

I’ve discovered that others don’t do this at all. They decide how they feel about ideas alone, in the quiet of their mind. They are internal processors and quiet thinkers.

Here’s why this matters: If your team learns of the meeting agenda when they sit down at the table, all of the external processors will dominate the conversation as they process ideas out loud. However, the internal processors will keep quiet and make up their minds after the meeting when they have space to do so.

In other words, if you keep the agenda under wraps until the meeting, you will automatically exclude the internal processors. They will feel undervalued and you will miss out on their valuable contributions.

What’s the solution? Publish the agenda before the meeting. Do it at least the day before so that your internal processors have time to prepare.  Even a simple email like this can go a long ways.


By doing this, you will ensure participation from your entire team.

3. Is This for Everyone?

One of the quickest ways to kill momentum in a team meeting is to include agenda items that don’t involve everyone present.

When topics are brought up that don’t involve everyone, the individuals who aren’t directly involved will mentally check out. And once a person checks out it is difficult to reel them back in. In addition, repeated agenda items that don’t include everyone will lead to team members feeling like your meetings aren’t relevant.

One of the easiest solutions to this problem is to ask yourself, “Is this agenda item for everyone?” If it isn’t, do yourself and your team a favor and have an off-line conversation.


By taking this simple step, you will ensure that team members feel like staff meetings are a valuable usage of their time.

4. Reinforce Your Values

The engine of an organization is its values and culture. When all team members live and breathe the values of an organization, the results can be incredible because everyone will be running in the same direction.

Assuming you have taken the time to define and communicate your values, always use your team meetings to reinforce your values. This can be done in a few different ways. Here are two examples:

  • Focus on a value each month or each season. During these periods of emphasis, make everything about that particular value. For us, in our church, we are in a season of emphasizing hospitality.
  • Act as the champion of the values. As the leader, look for every opportunity to weave the language of your values into conversations during your staff meetings.
“Hey Bill, thank you so much for bringing up the issue we experienced last weekend at our guest check-in kiosk. This is so important. If hospitality truly is one of our core values, then we must figure this out and improve the guest experience.”

Perhaps the most important task of a leader is to organize your church around the core values and mission of your organization. As many have said, “vision leaks.” Because of this, we must constantly reinforce our values.

5. What’s at Stake

Here’s why most staff meetings are boring: The agenda items aren’t compelling. In other words, there is nothing at stake.

Great team meetings involve tension, honest debate and even conflict. Think about it, the last staff meeting that you actually enjoyed involved some sort of tension. There was a problem to solve or an issue to debate. There are the meetings that energize us.

If you want to transition from boring staff meetings to staff meetings that energize and propel the organization forward, you need to ask yourself, “What’s at stake here?” In other words, “Why does this meeting matter?”

In my opinion, there must be at least one agenda item that draws the participants into the tension. Here are a few examples:

  • We need to decide if VBS is the best ministry strategy for us or if it’s time to switch to day camps.
  • We have $20,000 left in our Missions budget. What is the best way to use this money?
  • We are losing momentum in our Sunday evening service but we are full in our Sunday morning services. What’s a better strategy?

These agenda items are compelling and engaging. Issues like these will lead to energized staff meetings.

If you’re interested in building tension in your staff meetings, I recommend Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni.


Well, there you have it. 5 Tips for Great Church Staff Meetings.

I’d love to hear what has worked in your staff meetings in the comments below.

Share this Article:

Looking for easy-to-use software to help manage your church?

We'd love to show you what we built!

Join 10,000+ happy churches using Breeze ChMS™.

loves Breeze

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

loves Breeze

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

loves Breeze

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

David P.
loves Breeze
St. Pauls United Methodist Church

Breeze has been incredible. Their customer service, commitment to innovation, and their product are top-notch. I love the features, the ease of use and the mobile applications.

Karen M.
loves Breeze
Hillcrest Church

All of our database needs have been more than met, it's easier to use than the last database we had, and the price is amazing - what a value this has been to our church! All of our staff can use this software and they do regularly. We use it to track…literally anything a church could possibly need to track regarding it's attenders.

Chris K.
loves Breeze
Crossroads United Methodist Church

Breeze has been a great asset to our church and congregation. Especially from an administrative standpoint, it has been the most adaptable and easiest church database I have ever used. The features from blast emails to giving on-line, and texting have been one of our greatest assets. Thank you!

Ed R.
loves Breeze
Church Admin

We switched from a major, web-based ChMS to Breeze and our decision is confirmed every day. We are a medium size church and we use Breeze for contributions, member management, event checkin and a few other applications custom to our church. I had trouble getting any staff to use our previous ChMS but almost all staff are using Breeze. The product is very well designed, extremely easy to learn and use and customer service is incredible.

Ellen G.
loves Breeze
Grace Church

Breeze has opened the communication highway for our congregation and staff, with very little training. Because members can update their own records and search easily for other members - and map their locations, send emails and text right from Breeze, they love it and our data is more real-time accurate. Our ministries are stronger, because they can trust the data in Breeze, which is easily accessed anywhere, anytime.

Steve H.
loves Breeze
First Presbyterian Church of Ramsey

Breeze is the first ChMS my volunteers have actually embraced. That's because it's so easy to use. The software is very flexible and gives us the opportunity to make decisions based on actual data we've collected and not just hunches or stories we believe to be true.

Allicia B.
loves Breeze
Ellel Ministries Canada

I cannot say enough about Breeze. Their customer service is so friendly, you feel like you have friends and family helping you get started, they're prompt to reply and will do whatever they can to help you get things sorted out. It's been so easy to learn, our staff is loving it and best of all even our staff who are not computer savvy find it a breeze (pun intended). We are just thrilled by our choice.

Kevin D.
loves Breeze
Central Baptist Church

From the start of our process looking for an online solution, Breeze has exceeded all our expectations. Fast data import, fast and friendly customer support, and we can’t say enough about how much we like the program itself. Very well designed and user friendly. On a scale of 1-10, Breeze gets a 15 from us!

Rated 4.9 stars – 480+ reviews on Capterra