How to Make Meetings More Than Meetings

How to Make Meetings More Than Meetings

If you need to meet with me, make it worth my time. I’m a meeting snob, because I have little margin and do not want it compromised. I want to leave a meeting feeling inspired, and ready to take on what was discussed.

I know I’m a little demanding when it comes to meeting integrity; however, they can be the death of your organization if not done correctly. You are asking people to sacrifice an important commodity (Time) that can not be returned.

Meetings do not always have to be memorable; however, they should be engaging. It’s where situations are discussed, dreams are revealed and teams grow together. To make meetings something your team embraces, make sure you keep to:


• Starting on Time

• Preparing Ahead of Time

• Providing an Agenda Early

• Ending on Time

It’s not rocket science. If you follow some of the basic etiquette of a meeting, you can at least prevent people from leaving angry. HOWEVER, if you want to make your meetings engaging and motivating:

• Always Include Prayer: You need to bring God into the conversation. It might sound simple, but it’s easily forgotten. Make sure you take time to invite God in to lead, guide and bless the conversation. At the end, thank Him and ask for His continued guidance. If anything, it serves as a reminder as to why you do what you do.

• Create an Engaging Environment: There are a million things that can serve as distractions to your meeting. Before you begin, make sure you have a designated meeting space. Arrange furniture and adjust lighting to promote healthy conversation. Create guidelines (i.e., silence your cell phones) if you think certain things might distract. Be intentional about your meeting environments.

• Cast Vision: Your meetings should have a purpose. Talk about what you hope to accomplish in the meeting as you begin, so that people know where it is you want to go. When people have expectations, they’ll be more focused on how to get there.

• Engage Conflict: Not everyone has to agree on every matter. In fact, when there is conflict there can be healthy conversation. When you fear conflict, you enable bad ideas to grow, people are unheard and tension arises. Allow all sides to be heard by engaging in conflict so that progress can be made.

• Leave With Clarity: Again, not everyone has to agree; however, everyone should be clear on what is discussed. Before ending a meeting (or an issue), review some of the key points and make sure everyone is on the same page. Make sure that people understand what has been decided and what needs to be done. This way, no one is surprised when a decision is made.

Make meetings more than just a painful exercise by giving them and the people who attend them value. When meetings are effective, people will be engaged. When done right, they will move your ministry in an entirely new direction.

How do you make your meetings more than a meeting?

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Chris Wesley
Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.

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