Q&A: How to reduce the number of church meetings by 90%

Heather Hershey, a youth director in Pennsylvania, emailed me concerning a comment I made in previous post about having evening meetings at only church about once every 3 months. Here’s what she asked:

How in the world are you able to NOT have evening meetings? I have a ton, but it’s because all of our church volunteers work during the week and can’t meet during the daytime. Please share this secret with me!

There’s no big secret — just don’t have meetings! What is it that you guys have to meet so frequently about? Can you find other ways to communicate? I have about 60 adult volunteers in my youth ministry and we have three meetings a year: 1) new school year around August; 2) Christmas Party in December; and 3) end-of-the-school-year wrap-up meeting in May. There’s occasional other little meetings that happen within sub-groups of leaders, but usually I don’t go to them. They can function just fine without me. (If your ministry can’t function without you, then you need to restructure it and delegate responsibility. If they don’t accept the responsibility for something, then you shut that thing down. If no one takes charge, that tells you how important it really must be to them.) We have trainings that I’m in charge about twice a year, but those are usually a Saturday morning and afternoon kinda thing.

Most of my communication takes place online, which allows us to handle issues a lot faster and efficiently than waiting for the next meeting to discuss something. I also just make a lot of executive decisions myself. Decisions that require quick input (and don’t necessarily need to be approved by all 60 adult leaders) I run by a group of 5 adult leaders who are my “executive leaders.” They’re people who have been involved in various aspects of the youth ministry for a long time, are spiritually mature, and are very good with responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner.


Have a youth ministry question you’d like me and other readers to answer? E-mail it to me! Please keep your question brief and to-the-point. Thanks!

Posted on May 14, 2008

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