Insights and thoughts on the world of student ministry, multi-site, and the potential to be great...again...too soon?

When Do You Meet With Your Multi-Site Team?

One of the most common questions I receive when it comes to multi-site ministry is "When & how often do you meet with the other members of the student ministry team?" A great & important question with more layers than a 8th grade girls small group so let's unpack it a bit.

First off, lets start by addressing a tension for many, we don't like meetings.  Too be more accurate, we don't like bad meetings.  A meeting that drags on, doesn't seem to have a purpose, and doesn't move the vision of the ministry further.

Patrick Lencioni has written several excellent books regarding team management. If you have not read any of his stuff then I highly recommend that you do so. In the meantime, here is something he has to say about meetings:

...a leader who hates meetings is a lot like a surgeon who hates operating on people, or a symphony conductor who hates concerts. Meetings are what leaders do, and the solution to bad meetings is not the elimination of them, but rather the transformation of them into meaningful, engaging and relevant activity with the fact that meetings generally have quite the stigma about them.” - Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage

The aim for our meetings is just that; meaningful, engaging, and relevant activity. I'll share in another post about the format & structure of our meeting so that I can get back to the original question I said earlier there are a lot of layers when it comes to this question.

                                  A few of staff that make up our multi-site student ministry team

                                  A few of staff that make up our multi-site student ministry team

Our team meets once a month in the afternoon of the third Tuesday at our Troy campus for 2 1/2 hours. Our staff works from their specific campus throughout the week and some of the locations are an hour apart from one another.  So when it came time to decide upon when we would meet, we wanted to create a rhythm that was predictable and that would not excessively take them away from being at their campus.

With that in mind, we chose to place our Student Ministry Staff Meeting on the same day as our All-Campus Staff Meeting.  On the morning of those same Tuesdays the staff from across the campuses comes together to engage in worship, pray with one another, share stories of the work that God is doing, and to hear vision from our Senior Pastor, Doug Schmidt.

That meeting wraps at 11:30am and is followed by a lunch. We start our meeting at 1pm so that the team has a mental break to enjoy lunch & engage with other staff before hopping into another meeting.  That gap also allows us to connect one-on-one or in a smaller group with any of the student ministry staff to address any concerns, answer questions, or just to goof around.  It also allows for any final details to come together before our meeting in the afternoon.

This meeting rhythm accomplishes two primary goals; it is predictable and it does not cause our staff to have to come to gather on an additional day. The meeting rhythm along with the importance & purpose of these meetings is communicated to our Campus Pastors (CPs) so that they can have a deeper understanding of how we function as a student ministry staff and be bought into what we are doing.  The CPs have been great to work alongside when it comes to honoring this rhythm and partnering alongside one another to develop our team.

I'll share in another posts (I think I've promised you at least two more at this point) about how we communicate as a team outside of this meeting. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about when you meet with your team and what are the best snacks to bring to a meeting?  Give me Twizzler pull-n-peel any day.