There comes a point when inviting more people to the meeting isn’t the most optimal solution.
Logic might suggest, if there’s a communications problem, the best solution is to include more people in the conversation. The problem, though, is that there comes a point in the dynamics of meetings where adding people actually makes communications more difficult.
The break point probably happens when you get more than eight people in a room.
Out of necessity, the conversation becomes more one-sided because there’s not enough time to get everyone’s input and questions on every agenda topic.
For churches, the first time you will notice this probably happens when the church hits about 600 to 800 people in attendance.
If you’re like the average church, you’ll have more than eight full-time and part-time staff. Until this point, you might have invited everyone to the weekly staff meeting. If you want to continue growing, you’ll need to begin excluding some people from leadership team meetings.
For most churches, the first transition they embrace to break through this barrier is to only invite ministry leaders to the weekly staff meeting.
You need to only include the people who are leading other people. The support staff, the folks that primarily complete tasks, do not attend the leadership team meetings. This allows the leadership team to engage more effectively when it comes to making decisions about the future of the church.
The second point of transition likely happens when the church is running about 1,500 to 1,800 in attendance.
At that point, it’s not unusual for the number of ministry pastors, directors and coordinators to exceed eight people. Again, something needs to change or decision-making will come to a grinding halt and growth will stall.
This time the transition is a little more difficult because you’ll need to remove some ministry leaders from the leadership team conversations. This is when churches learn they only have enough space for the leaders of leaders at the weekly leadership team meetings. That means some pastors, directors and coordinators will have to be excluded for the church to improve decision-making and go to the next level.
Now, to put your minds at ease, these shifts in the leadership team meetings don’t eliminate the opportunity for the remaining staff to be engaged in decision-making. And it certainly doesn’t eliminate the need to communicate with everyone on the staff team.