Get and Stay Ahead With Regular Meetings
The final aspect of building and leading a church communications team we want to highlight is that dreaded word: meetings
We know, we know—no one needs more meetings, right? Well, let’s talk about that first.
One of our favorite filters to use when deciding which meetings to have and which to eliminate involves asking the question: Will we be able to walk away with clear next steps after this meeting? If the answer is no, then you probably don’t need to have it. There’s no better way to save time for everyone than cutting out meetings that don’t lead to real, tangible action.
But the largest benefit of establishing regular, action-oriented meetings is that they help your team get ahead and stay ahead. Because the reality is that you can plan ahead or you can burn people out.
With that in mind, we recommend establishing three different kinds of regular meetings withing your team and across your organization.
If you’re the Communications Director, setting up regular one-on-one meetings with your teammates is crucial. These 1:1’s give you a chance to hear from your teammates about how they’re doing, what they’re working on, and what they need from you to help them move forward.
It’s easy to get super heads-down in busy seasons and forget to look around at the people helping with the workload. We recommend at least a monthly 1:1 check-in with each of your team members, if not 2–4 times a month. If you’re not connecting with your team members on some kind of regular rhythm, you’re probably going to be surprised when they say, “Hey, I’m leaving.”
Also, if you don’t have regular 1:1’s with your direct reports as a Communication Director, you should ask for them. Just like you need to hear from your teammates about what they need to do their jobs effectively and function healthily, your leaders need to hear the same from you.
Regular Department Meetings
As a communications team, kick off every week with an all-hands meeting focused on prioritizing what needs to happen this week and addressing any team bottlenecks or challenges that you need to help remove. We recommend starting this meeting with gratitudes and wins from the prior week, both internally and inter-departmentally. A habit of expressing gratitude keeps people, joy, and passion at the center of all the hard work you do and makes for a tight-knit and cooperative team.
Additionally, set up regular inter-departmental meetings with each of your ministry teams. For leadership-level clients like your Lead Pastor or Executive team, consider establishing a weekly or bi-weekly meeting rhythm. It doesn’t need to be painfully long, just a regular check-in to make sure you’re always aware of the direction or initiatives your leadership is prioritizing.
For your other large departments like Kids Ministry, Youth Ministry, Small Groups Minsitry, and Missions Ministry, try to connect once a month to get ahead on their next events and communication needs. Build an online document with an ongoing meeting log for each department where you can take notes on ideas, discussion points, and next steps.
Quarterly Planning Meetings
If there was only one meeting we’d recommend you establish, it’d be Quarterly Planning Meetings. QPM’s are org-wide meetings where your department heads look at the next six months of ministry and plan out when things are needed to accomplish your goals. Your role in those meetings should be helping the department heads and ministry leaders understand the reverse-timelines your communications team needs to help pull off a project. Talk about the discovery, creation, revisions, and shipping time needed to adequately support whatever large ministry events or initiatives have been identified over the next six months.
It’s definitely difficult to convince your colleagues to add more meetings to their calendars, but we promise that you’ll experience far better results and much less burnout if you can implement regular 1:1’s, department and interdepartmental meetings, and Quarterly Planning Meetings into your department’s rhythms. And when you’re trying to help your church amplify the greatest-news message in human history, better results and less burnout are massive wins!