categories: time management
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August 28th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

16 comments (+ Add)

Unusual Time Saving Tips (4 of 5)

Do Fewer Meetings

Most people in ministry do way too many meetings.

Instead of scheduling a typical 1 or 2 hour meeting, you might try a 15 minute touch-base meeting. You may cover even more in that brief time.

Or better yet, cut the frequency of your meetings in half. Instead of meeting weekly, try meeting every other week. If that is not possible, you might cancel 1 of 4 meetings a month.

Doing fewer meeting forces you to think further ahead and encourages better planning and intentional communication.

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there are a total of16
  1. 1Steve
    Aug 28, 2008 at 7:02 am

    I love the sound of that! Has anyone cut their frequency of meetings? If so has it improved communication between staff? Right now our staff meets weekly on Mondays from 1-4. Then Thursdays 1-2. I feel like it sucks time and life out of me.

  2. Aug 28, 2008 at 8:14 am

    I can’t stand meeings for the sake of meeting for the sake of scheduling another meeting…

    I’m all about the touch-n-go meetings and many times those on my team don’t even realize that we have just met.

    A great read is “Death by Meeting” by Patrick Lencioni

  3. Aug 28, 2008 at 8:43 am

    amen. our leadership team meets once a month.

  4. Aug 28, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Can you share the basic structure, time , frequency of your all staff mtg?

    Thanks in advance for any info!

  5. Aug 28, 2008 at 8:50 am

    These are great, Craig! I am a worship leader here in Florida and I probably spend 3/4 of my week in meetings. I will forward these on!

  6. Aug 28, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Thanks!

  7. Aug 28, 2008 at 10:47 am

    [...] Groeschel has a very helpful series of posts on his blog about saving time as a pastor. Today’s is regarding meetings. While the post is intended for [...]

  8. Aug 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Our team has one meeting a week. I love it. It frees me up to do my job!

  9. Aug 28, 2008 at 11:16 am

    The guys at 37Signals had a post a while back about the need to check if your meeting passes the “blizzard goggles” test. From that post:

    Phil had six meetings scheduled for that day that were canceled because everyone was having trouble getting to the office. When he returned the next day, four of those meetings were never rescheduled. One was resolved with an e-mail, another with a phone call.

    Article Link: http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/1056-will-your-next-meeting-pass-the-blizzard-goggles-test

  10. Aug 28, 2008 at 11:30 am

    So let me get this straight. You’re saying fewer meetings so that you can work more…Hmm…I like!

  11. 12Mark
    Aug 28, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    You ought to check out Patrick Lencioni’s book “Death By Meeting” He masterfully addresses many of the issues raised here and gives great solutions for practically overcoming the challenge of having a successful meeting system in your organization

  12. 13Joe Vasquez
    Aug 29, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Craig - one thing that I have instituted comes from my technology days as a consultant when we had to meet everyday for status - we would do ’stand-up’ meetings…no one sits down, you speak only if you have something to say - and you limit the time to 15 minutes…if there are larger issues, you table them and meet with the one person 1-on-1 after but set a time-limit for that as well…it promotes people being proactive with answers to their own questions or issues. All good stuff on our blog though! God Bless dude.

  13. Aug 29, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Can I just say Amen and Amen! Just finished a week with meetings every single day, several of those meetings were reschedules because the meeting the previous day went too long. Result? “Everyone gather their ideas and submit them, then we’ll meet about them again.” Extremely ineffective.

  14. 15Mark
    Aug 30, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Several of you have mentioned Lencioni’s book, which I agree is a great read. However, his book actually suggests MORE meetings, but ones that that are more strategic and focused in purpose. I have found his pattern to work well with a team of paid staff who I see in the office almost daily. On the other hand, I have found it much more difficult to implement with an all part-time/volunteer staff.

    I especially curious to hear how some of you meet with key staff/volunteers who DO NOT work with you in the office. How do you develop continuity with them in the areas of communication (beyond emails, memos) and leadership development?

    Thanks!
    Mark

  15. 16Andrew Tindall
    Sep 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    At last, a man with my views on meetings. Years ago I was criticised for my lack of commitment to Christ for complaining that a youth group committee met every month from 7:45 pm and no end time scheduled. It often ran past midnight. I still can’t believe I put up with it for so long.

    Now I’m an elder and I am trying to illuminate my colleagues about meetings. Our agenda was basically the headings from last meetings’ minutes so we just went over the same old ground. I suggested having a meeting when we needed one, not one every X weeks just beacause that’s what we’ve always done. If there is no need for a meeting, don’t have one. Likewise if you need a meeting once every 2 weeks for a time, then do that, but meet for a reason. Obviously there will need to be a meeting every so often to review what is going on. In my suggestion, an elders meeting could be 10 minutes after church one Sunday.