Over time at Life Church, our systems became more complicated and our communication more challenging.
To help people become better informed, we started adding meetings. Unfortunately, more meetings led to more inefficiency. (This may not always be the case. But it often is. Read Death by Meetings by Patrick Lencioni.)
We tried a radical experiment and cut the frequency of our meetings in half. If a group met once a month, we moved it to once every two months. If they met four times a year, we moved it to twice a year. If they met once a week, we moved it to twice a month.
Here is what happened:
- Instead of less communication, we had better communication. The infrequency of meetings forced us to be more intentional with our communication.
- Instead of planning out one week, we had to plan two. This forced us to become more organized.
- Instead of the meetings seeming dull and boring, people came more excited to be together.
- Instead of longer, more drawn out meetings, people worked harder, faster and smarter.
- We freed up a ton of time for other important ministry.
It might be a slight overstatement… if so, not by much. I honestly think we cut our meetings in half and doubled our production.