WHY MEETINGS BECOME A PROBLEM

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BY DR. STEVE DUNN

Churches tend to have lots of meetings.  There are probably more than are necessary and many of which are not very productive.  As a result, many people grow dislike meetings despite the fact that they are absolutely necessary for smooth-running leadership teams.

So what’s the problem with meetings? Here are some answers.

  1. There is no clear purpose for the meeting. This is often because there is not a detailed agenda which includes a clear list of action items. (Action items should always be prepared in advance by the person or group proposing the action along with a detailed rationale for the action).
  2. People do not come prepared. Part of this grows from the lack of an agenda available in advance or from minutes and reports which are distributed at the meeting but not before the meeting. (People tend to forget or procrastinate. An agenda and minutes are important reminders.)
  3. Meetings do not start on time and waste time. When you start late you only reward those who are late and frustrate those who were on time. In meetings, we discuss things not on the agenda, try to make decisions as a group because the subgroup has not done its homework in advance.
  4. People are reluctant to make decisions. A leadership group is a decision-making body. Don’t abdicate the decision to someone else.  Also remember that timing is everything.  Too often we delay and delay until the decision is no longer necessary or has developed added complications which have not been considered. (Go back to #1 for some of the remedy.)
  5. Too much time is spent reporting what has been done and too little on what is going to be or needs to be done. This speaks for itself.
  6. People in the meeting who do not speak up when they need to.

This often requires revisiting the decision later or results in decisions being made that people are not really on board with.

Watch for more posts on meetings.

© 2017 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com.  For all other uses, contact Steve at sdunnpastor@gmail.com

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