"I think we've got it!"
There we were, at a cabin in the mountains of north Georgia in the winter of 2019. We, the executive team of StartCHURCH, had been there for close to three days. The walls were covered with dozens and dozens of large Post-it notes with scribbles and drawings and writings from the last few days.
But now we were looking at just one. It was the crystallization of all that we had discussed. This piece of paper displayed our four initiatives for 2020—and we couldn't have been more excited!
The Power of the Offsite
I'm a huge fan of planning a diverse meeting schedule anchored in our most important annual meeting—the Offsite.
At the end of the year, I love to steal away with the highest-level leaders on my team to plan for the upcoming season. Apart from the office, phones and other distractions, we can fully focus on setting our priorities and course of direction for the next 12 months.
As a part of the Offsite, I lead our team through a series of meetings where I ask a lot of strategic questions:
—Where have we been winning?
—What struggles have we encountered?
—How are we doing as a team?
—What should we stop doing?
—What areas can we focus on that will help our customers the most?
—What are the nonnegotiables for the coming year?
My highest level leaders are the ones who have their fingers on the pulse of our clients and our team members. It's here that we can listen, learn and dream about the future of StartCHURCH, and it's from this gathering that our true north is set for the year to come. During this meeting, we craft the initiatives that frame what we will strive to accomplish over the coming months.
At the end of the Offsite, we found ourselves staring at this final document that represented the four main areas we would give our energy and talent to throughout the year. This paper was proof that we had accomplished our primary goal that week. There was a collective agreement from the team that these were, indeed, the right priorities. We were all smiling, thanking God for the clarity of direction, while also asking for the grace to lead our company to our set destination.
We created a special resource to help pastors and leaders successfully lead their ministries and churches with "Launch to Lead."
From Here to There
Over the following months, we would allow these initiatives to shape our direction as a company. They would form the framework for decision making, spending and reporting. While 2020 has come with a myriad of unexpected challenges, these four initiatives would remain our highest commitments and keep us on track toward our true north.
I want to provide you with a powerful key that can help every church and ministry fulfill their God-given vision: a plan for a series of strategic meetings.
This is the course of action we take at StartCHURCH, and I believe it will help you succeed as well.
5 Types of Meetings to Lead Your Team to Success
While many organizations shy away from meetings, StartCHURCH has implemented a series of focused meetings that keeps us moving toward our vision:
1. Weekly same-page meeting. Every week, I meet with our chief operating officer and walk through our organization department by department. This approach allows me to have the widest gate of information on the overall state of the union. As a leader, it also gives me a chance to keep the four initiatives alive and urgent in the heart of the company's highest level, while allowing me to continue defining our 2020 wins.
2. Weekly tactical meeting. This meeting, attended by our C-suite executives, vice presidents and director level leaders, addresses our tactics within the organization. We go through each department and discuss our victories and challenges. As we work together to solve problems, we continually return to our main four goals for the year. By examining these matters every week, I can move our company forward as a team.
3. Monthly deep dive. During the deep-dive meeting, we move beyond high level tactical discussion into the granular data, KPIs, goals and more. This monthly gathering is an opportunity for the management team to get "under the hood" and see what's working and what's not. Additionally, it's a time for departmental leaders to be held accountable for the completion of assigned, measurable tasks and the stewarding of resources.
4. Quarterly near site. The quarterly near site occurs either in a conference room—while maintaining proper social distancing requirements—or offsite but kept locally. At this meeting, we review where we have been and refocus on where we are going. This meeting allows me to keep my largest leadership team in alignment with our four initiatives.
5. A midcourse review. The last type of meeting I want to highlight is the midyear check-in. This review is a near-site gathering (meaning leaders are released from normal daily activities, but there is no need for an overnight stay.) At StartCHURCH, we go through an outline to help us define where we are, what's most important and where we are going. You can get a free copy by giving us a call at 888-829-8268.
The Importance of July
Why is the topic of meetings—especially a midcourse review—relevant right now? Because the beginning of July represents the halfway point of the year. Now is a time when the most influential leaders are wise enough to take their team through a midcourse review of their visions and goals, asking: "Where have we been? What have we accomplished? What have we learned? Where are we going?" As we answer these questions together as a team, I, as a leader, can infuse us with clarity about what is most important and keep us on track toward our four initiatives.
The truth is, there will always be obstacles, ideas and opportunities that pop up and challenge the vision you set for the year. While you must pray through those items, if you stay focused, you can achieve the goals you set forth as a company despite the distractions and setbacks.
Lead On Purpose
As we start the second half of the year we, as leaders, need to embrace our role as navigators. We must take the time to understand where we've been, where we are and plot a path to where we are going.
Pastor Andy Stanley says, "Everyone ends up somewhere; not everyone ends up somewhere on purpose." What about your organization? Will you end up somewhere by accident or on purpose? Using these five strategic types of meetings can help you intentionally choose where you will land through the second half of the year.
At StartCHURCH, we want to help you protect what God has called you to lead in this season. Give us a call today to speak to our specialists about taking your church or ministry to the next level!
Nathan Camp, as a former church planter and staff pastor, brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the StartCHURCH team through his role as the chief executive officer. He desires to see churches and ministries equipped and inspired to pursue the dreams God has put in their hearts.
For the original article, visit startchurch.com.
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