Over the course of a minister’s career he or she will attend thousands of church staff meetings. Do the math, it adds up to years of meetings. Some meetings are good, even great, but most not so much. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can re-engineer your staff meetings to make them engaging, relevant, and impactful by adopting an approach that is revolutionizing secondary school learning.
It’s called “flipping the classroom.” In essence, “flipping the classroom” means students first gain exposure to new information outside the class, usually via videos and online materials, and then use class time to synthesize, discuss, and apply the knowledge.
This same approach educators have found to increase engagement and retention can be applied to transform your church staff meetings.
Things You Can Accomplish with Flipped Staff Meetings
There are a variety of outcomes that flipped staff meetings help accomplish. Here are several examples:
- Projects – complete your annual self-development plan
- Event Planning – design a new local outreach event
- Processes – develop a new first time guest process
- Framing Issues – we believe……., therefore we will…….
- Problem Solving – how do we solve our Sunday space crunch?
- Decision Making – what is our response to this opportunity?
- Communication – how will we all agree to respond if we are asked about…….?
- Skill Development – ways to avoid ministry burnout
- Research and Development – what are best practices in the area of discipleship?
Benefits of Flipped Church Staff Meetings
Flipped staff meetings focus participant’s time on working collaboratively to solve problems, assess opportunities, evaluate results, and apply new knowledge rather than listening to a presentation. Some benefits of this approach include:
- Faster and wiser decisions
- Better stewardship of time
- Action and results oriented
- More participant engagement
- Innovative and creative thinking
- Shorter meetings
- Enhanced communication
- Offers a learner rather than teacher centered approach
Let’s look at how a flipped church staff meeting might work.
How to Conduct a Flipped Church Staff Meeting
Step One: Send or provide relevant agenda information and instructions to participants in advance of the meeting. The mechanism for first exposure to the staff meeting content can vary. Some examples include:
- Web page links
- Video files
- YouTube videos
- Power Point slides
- Scanned magazine/newspaper articles
- Books or chapters
- Case studies
Step Two: Along with the relevant resources to review, provide a brief assignment to prepare for the staff meeting. You might ask participants to:
- Develop questions that will provoke discussion at the staff meeting
- Come prepared to share 2-3 take-a-ways
- Write how the material relates or might be applied to their ministry, role, or responsibilities
- List ways the subject might impact the church
- Bring to the staff meeting other pertinent resources or best practices on the subject
Step Three: Assign someone to briefly review the material sent in advance, reminding them of the “what” and “why” of the key concepts.
Step Four: Facilitate dialogue. Discussion and feedback can be encouraged by:
- Assigning participants to cross ministry work groups to brainstorm solutions
- Asking participants to share ways they plan to apply or implement the concepts
- Allowing participants to meet with their ministry or department teams to determine ways to apply or implement the concepts on their team
- Calling on participants to share their assignments
- Asking follow up questions
- Providing additional resources to read or watch and discuss in groups
- Assigning a project to collaboratively complete and share (such as annual ministry budgets, goals, or self-development plans after reviewing and discussing the relevant resource materials provided in advance)
Why not experiment? Flip some staff meetings. It will improve the quality of your church staff meetings and encourage your staff to use the technique in their leader, volunteer, and team meetings.
Posted on July 17, 2018