Leading Effective Meetings

H. B. London, VP Pastoral Ministries for Focus on the Family offers these sage words of wisdom for pastors and leaders about meetings…


  1. People and their time are valuable. Do not waste either. Begin on time!!
  2. It is vital that the right people are in the meeting. Decision makers and implementers are crucial.
  3. Most meetings last too long. Strip down the agenda to cover what needs to be addressed. Be careful with non-agenda suggestions.
  4. Never go into a meeting unprepared. That is when leaders get surprised. Be alert!
  5. Do not neglect the significance of a prayerful beginning to each meeting.
  6. Whatever you do don’t die on every hill. Some things just do not matter.
  7. Have a printed agenda — and, in most cases, it should be distributed beforehand
  8. Where there is an issue to be debated, make sure you have addressed that issue with “power people” before the meeting begins.
  9. Do everything you can to keep voice levels and attitudes on an even keel. Once you ring the “bell of discord,” it can never be re-rung. Know when to hold and when to fold.
  10. Your attitude will be essential. Be a leader. Know your parameters. Don’t say things you will regret later.
  11. If you have committees reporting, make sure the chairman is prepared, or do not present the report.
  12. Never introduce a new idea without having run that idea by trusted colleagues or leaders. Don’t despair if your new idea is not greeted with enthusiasm. Keep moving forward.
  13. Food and drink may add a little extra time to each meeting — but fellowship is a great way to diffuse conflict. Laughter is a leveler.
  14. The items that are significant should be handled first or you could be accused of attempting to “push things through.”
  15. If you have a “power player” in your organization, do all you can to befriend him or her. In the end, most decisions will go through him or her.
  16. Don’t have so many meetings.

Pastor’s Weekly Briefing 2/22/08

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