By Sam S. Rainer III
You can sit during these meetings if you like; “standing meetings” are different than stand-up meetings.
A standing meeting is one that repeats in a regular pattern and is an obligation for people to attend.
I have a standing meeting every Monday at 4 p.m. with my worship pastor. We discuss the previous Sunday’s services and also the upcoming Sunday services. On occasion, we’ll use the time slot to create worship strategies or examine something new.
Our church staff also meets regularly — every Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. for staff chapel. Then the ministry team meets from 9:30 a.m. until noon. The agenda is standing, as well. For the most part, the same items are discussed every week. Our congregation has a monthly standing meeting for leaders on Sunday afternoons. All leaders, teams, and committees meet at the same time.
We’ve all been trapped in a black-hole meeting where time seems to stop and everything descends into nothingness. I’m guilty of leading such meetings, chasing rabbits and taking too long to land the plane. If done well, standing meetings can be of great benefit to church staff without wasting everyone’s time.
Standing meetings create a culture of candid communication. When everyone meets weekly and is expected to contribute, you give people permission to speak freely. When meetings are rarely called, they can feel formal, and some staff will be less inclined to talk.
Standing meetings prevent ministry silos. When staff communicate regularly and with a rhythm, fewer silos form. The team actually starts to function as a team when regular pathways of communication open. In fact, if your staff does not have standing meetings, then starting them will often reveal how bad your ministry silos are.
Standing meetings keep church staff focused on top priorities. These meetings act as weekly reminders of what is most important. Without them, good staff will create their own priorities. Without them, lazy staff find it much easier to hide.
Standing meetings spotlight items that need weekly attention. Some things need to be discussed every week or every month. Our team discusses worship services, guests, hospital and care updates, the next thirty days of events, and other items every Tuesday.
Standing meetings help with camaraderie and morale. I realize some people become more annoying the more you are with them. However, in most cases, when you are around people often, you tend to care more about them. Standing meetings can become great times of building and inspiring the team. If you lead these meetings, use the time predominantly for encouragement and only occasionally for admonishment.
These meetings don’t have to be long. They don’t have to be all-staff all the time. Some individual ministries might want standing meetings between them, such as students and children, or worship and technology, or assimilation and first impressions.
If done well, standing meetings become beneficial and not boring.
Sam S. Rainer III serves as lead pastor of West Bradenton Baptist Church. He is also the president of Church Answers and co-founder/co-owner of Rainer Publishing. His desire is to provide answers for better church health.
Rainer is author of Obstacles in the Established Church and the co-author of Essential Church. He is an editorial advisor/contributor at Church Executive Magazine and has also served as a consulting editor at Outreach Magazine.
Rainer teaches at Southern Seminary and has written more than 150 articles on church health for numerous publications. He is a frequent conference speaker.
Before submitting to the call of ministry, Rainer worked in a procurement consulting role for Fortune 1000 companies.
This post originally appeared on SamRainer.com.