Archives For meetings

As we have pushed forward into the information age, ministry has followed suit in many ways. . . ministry work has evolved so that it isn’t strictly about counseling, facilitating discipleship, teaching on a one-to-one or one-to-some basis. Sophistication in communication resources has allowed growth-oriented ministries to find themselves planning, producing & presenting more content, running more outreach programs, serving more people by collaborating in teams and more.

This has changed the daily routine of ministry work a bit for some.

Have you ever had meetings to plan volunteer training, or leadership lunches, or ministry team retreats?

I’m sure you have at some point, if its not already a regular occurrence in your work.

Are you aware that you’ve gotten to the point where you are meeting about meetings?

Today is a Monday, and it’s typically a meeting-heavy day here.  I already know not to schedule any meaningful calls or meetings with new people on Mondays because I’ll be consumed with various standing meetings.   In the end, Monday’s are not really a day where I “get work done.”  Have you ever felt the same thing?

How do you change this? At least for the people you manage and interact with?

Before you figure it out, here’s a great TED talk where Jason Fried discusses “Why work doesn’t happen at work?” to put it into context:

One of my colleagues at work, Rich Birch, has offered up this response:


The author, Al Pittampalli, is trying to dig one layer deeper than usual to figure out how to radically change our work habits around meeting and productivity.

Rich has arranged an opportunity for us to sit down internally with Al this coming January, and I’m excited to read his book, READ THIS BEFORE YOUR NEXT MEETING — and then interact with him to see how I can activate some of the insights for my own praxis in year ahead.

I definitely want to ramp up productivity in the next year, what about you?


QUESTION: Are you sick of meetings? What do you do *during* your inefficient meetings? Got any tips to make meetings radically useful to everyone that comes? Share your rant or tip below in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing all of it!

If you’re doing something right with your ministry, you are mobilizing volunteers to get involved in every way possible.

But there are two practical problems with leading volunteers across the different ministries of a church:

First, you need to hold many meetings so that everyone is on the same page (including you!), especially if there are many people involved. A coordinated effort requires a lot of dissemination of information, collaboration and a tons of basic communication.

Second, because you are working with volunteers, not staff, they aren’t always available physically to meet in the same place at the same time.


In the business world, conference call and video conferences are the norm. But for some reason, suggest that people dial in for a ministry meeting via conference call, and people seem perplexed.

The truth is that conference call services used to be expensive, hence affordable only when the costs could be justified by business. While your team’s time and efforts are no less valuable, the cost of conference call services have plummeted. It’s time to embrace this tool in your daily work as a team leader.

Here’s one way to set-up a free conference call dial-in number you can use today:

One of my favorite collaboration tools online is Drop.IO. A neat feature they offer (free too!) is a personal conference call number with each and every free team page/account you set-up.


Once you set-up a new custom collaboration page at, you’ll see a custom conference call dial-in number on the right column. (We’ll explore some of the other neat-o benefits in another future post)

This conference call number is all yours as long as the page is live (you can change how long the page exists in the settings to up to 1 year after the last visit). It is a reservation-less conference call dial-in number that you can pass out to use whenever you need.

If you want to set-up unique dial-in numbers for each of your ministry leaders for their own teams, just set-up additional pages for each group. Voila! Every team can collaborate as often as they wish on their own.

BONUS TIP: If you want to have certain calls recorded so that you can distribute them to other people that missed the meeting or would benefit from the contents of your meeting, you can 3-way conference in the “voicemail” number which is listed on the same page. Voicemails are saved and posted as mp3 files to the page within minutes. You can download them or even use the direct link to the file that’s made available with the recording.