Five Benefits of a Standing Meeting

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 4:00 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 blackhole 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 may 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.

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Sam Rainer III

Sam serves as lead pastor of West Bradenton Baptist Church. He is also the president of Rainer Research, and he is the co-founder/co-owner of Rainer Publishing. His desire is to provide answers for better church health. Sam is author of the book, Obstacles in the Established Church, and the co-author of the book, Essential Church. He is an editorial advisor/contributor at Church Executive magazine. He has also served as a consulting editor at Outreach magazine. He has written over 150 articles on church health for numerous publications, and he is a frequent conference speaker. Before submitting to the call of ministry, Sam worked in a procurement consulting role for Fortune 1000 companies. Sam holds a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from the University of South Carolina, an M.A. in Missiology from Southern Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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