This week, I commented on Twitter that, though it was surely odd, I was excited about heading to our ministry staff meeting. You asked why. So, this morning, I paid close attention during the meeting to see just what it is that leaves me eager to attend.
I chuckled as I walked toward the theater where we were meeting, because it reminded me of one of those Rapture scenes you used to see in paintings. Everyone was headed in the same direction, with smiles on their faces, and seemed genuinely happy to be together and excited about what’s just ahead. I know that might sound a bit dramatic, but it was the image that popped into my mind.
So, why do we want to go to something that is chronically mundane in other organizations?
I noticed a few appealing elements that our meeting included and, yes, there are several that smaller environments would have a tough time duplicating. Among those are the big screens and fancy technology – but there are simpler ways to achieve the same goal of celebrating employees and keeping them on mission. That bottom line is ultimately a win.
- As employees arrive, there are nametags. Not worth mentioning, right? Yet it’s satisfying to find your name. Even after a year, I’m still thrilled to be included as staff. That sounds silly, doesn’t it? But it’s nice for that delight to be part of my reality. Also, honoring others by calling them by name is always a win – so the nametags in a large, continually changing organization help old brains like mine.
- New employees or milestones are scrolling on the screens for all to celebrate. Cool to catch up!
- Breakfast is served. Tables are nicely set with mints, lesson notes & pens. (Hey, a little bit of pampering and acknowledgement goes a long way!)
- A video recap of the most recent event is played to celebrate a ministry’s success (and the WIN of that is always celebrating fresh evidence of honoring our mission, which is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ).
- The sense that we’re firmly on the cutting edge of innovation is always exciting, whether that is technology, programming, dynamic staff or guest speakers.
- Announcements are made by an engaging (and often funny) host. Today, it was the lead pastor of one of our local churches. Laughing in staff meeting is golden.
- New hires, guests, birthdays and anniversaries are individually recognized and celebrated. Showing individuals you feel they are special is a great habit.
- Event announcements and organizational updates keep everyone informed about what’s on the horizon – even the behind-the-scenes, not-yet-for-public-consumption stuff. Don’t keep your staff guessing. I, for one, love that about North Point.
- There is often a fun or surprise element. Today, they had taped gift certificates under the chairs of three lucky employees. Even the suspense of maybe winning was fun.
- Strategic partner churches tune in live. It’s a win to include select, exterior audiences who want to learn, benefit, stay informed and be included.
- Our staff meetings have honest-to-goodness teaching. Attractive, printed outlines are provided (with fill-in-the-blank statements to keep staff engaged in learning). I don’t know why this is so appealing, but it just feels nice to see excellence and effort in every gathering, no matter how ordinary. It’s also helpful to capture relevant information without having to show up with an armful of supplies.
- Andy Stanley. Need I say more? (No, but I will.) Andy has extraordinary clarity and his ability to articulate what matters, in a way that inspires others to contribute their best, drives the difference between an average workforce and one that will move mountains to achieve mission and vision. Can that be taught? Well, Catalyst One Day, Drive and lots of other conferences certainly try.
Rich, I hope this helps. Granted, we have smaller, ministry-specific meetings that involve less fanfare. However, even those tend to be fun. I work in our middle-school ministry and it’s not at all uncommon for someone to bat a beach ball around or break out the Nerf blaster. We are hired to think like middle schoolers! No matter what your environment, loosen up and enjoy work.
The bottom line for me, I suppose, is that it doesn’t feel like we’re having a staff meeting when we get our entire staff together – it is more like a staff event… and a FUN, useful one.
Next time you’re in town, I hope you’ll join us as my guest.
Disclaimer: These are just my musings and don’t reflect any official North Point thoughts about staff meetings. Especially the Rapture comment – chalk that up to my quirky, random mind. I’m certain the Rapture will be way more joyous than filing into a room filled with colleagues – no matter how fun and brilliant they are.