Pastors are often responsible for many areas of church ministry. Preaching, discipling, and, among other things, leading board meetings. Next time you’re called on to lead a board meeting (or any meeting, for that matter), use these tips to run the meeting in a way that honors board members’ time and expertise.
Start and end on time
No one wants to attend a meeting that runs an hour longer than expected. Plan your meeting agenda (read more on this below) and plan the meeting length accordingly. Start and end on time to respect board members’ time and appreciate their commitment.
Call on people for their individual expertise
Each board member brings different skills and expertise to the table. Don’t waste this opportunity for people’s unique perspectives to positively influence the conversation. If you know that one board member has experience in a relevant situation, don’t hesitate to call on them. This moves the conversation forward and celebrates members’ skills and giftings.
Utilize technology effectively
Technology is a double-edged sword. Utilize technology when it contributes to the overall success and effectiveness of the meeting, but test it before-hand to make sure it’s all in working order. No one wants to spend half an hour trying to figure out how to display a PowerPoint on a TV monitor, or join the board meeting on Zoom and struggle with audio settings.
Handle conflict well
People have diverse opinions, thoughts, and perspectives – and that’s a good thing! But diversity can often lead to conflict. Before the meeting, learn how to handle conflict in a healthy, God-honoring, productive way. Have a plan in place to handle disagreements.
Have a clear agenda
Plan the agenda before the meeting, and communicate the agenda in advance. An effective agenda might look like this:
For the sake of clarity, a meeting should only be about one thing. Otherwise, it will become much easier to get off topic and for collaborators to lose focus. Narrow your scope to a single objective and be more productive.
Meetings are called when there is a problem that needs to be resolved. So, during this part of the meeting, describe the problem and explain how it stands in the way of your church’s success. Go in-depth if needed, providing clear details that communicate the mechanics of the issue.
How will your church benefit once the problem is solved? What will that look like, specifically? Perhaps better time management could allow your staff to minister to more members of the community, or a more flexible budget would allow you to accommodate other ministries. These are just examples. Whatever the resolution is for your church, paint a clear picture of it, reminding your staff why it’s essential that the problem be solved and what’s at stake if it isn’t.
How the Problem Will Be Solved:
Brainstorm together and come up with a plan for how to solve the problem. Outline a series of practical steps that will get you there and decide who will be responsible for the completion of each step. Figure out how these steps will work together to solve the problem and achieve the desired goal.
When assigning specific responsibilities, issue a clear call to action. Articulate exactly what needs to be done and by when it should be completed. Then, reinforce the directive with a reminder of how the given task will serve the church overall.
Timeline and Completion Date:
Create a timeline that shows in what order and when each step should be completed. These individual deadlines will lead up to the completion date for the whole project. By doing this, all collaborators are in sync with and held accountable by the same timeline.
What Happens When We Reach the Resolution:
Finally, reiterate how this project benefits the church as a whole, and also how it benefits the staff members who have been called on to resolve the issue. Doing this will tie everything back in to conclude the meeting.