So, we’re getting towards the end of the year and for most churches that means two things: Christmas productions and annual planning. Let’s talk about the latter. Annual planning for some teams is about dreaming; It’s exciting and passionate dialogue about what is to come. And then for some teams it’s disappointing. Another year comes and it reminds them that things weren’t accomplished and the same old conversations occur. Here are 5 ways to keep from going in circles for the next 12 months.
1. Set short-term and long-term goals
We all know that we need to make goals for the next year. The main thing is making obtainable short-term and long-term goals. There are some things, like creating an all-star worship band, that you won’t be able to do in one year. So, don’t set yourself up for disappointment by making that a one-year goal. On the other hand, don’t create goals that are slam dunks either. One-year goals should be challenging but obtainable. Setting goals isn’t enough, though.
2. Have productive meetings
So, how are you tracking your goals and how are you accountable to them? The obvious but understated answer is productive monthly meetings. Again, that’s productive meetings. Meetings can easily slip into an unproductive and sleepy tradition that is consumed by dates instead of passionate vision and needed accountability. The best book I’ve read on meetings is Death By Meetings written by Patrick Lencioni. Lencioni makes the petition that a lot of people want to just do away with meetings, but in fact, meetings can be some of the greatest time spent in the month if produced correctly. Producing a great agenda for meetings isn’t enough, though.
3. Give opportunity for honest feedback
One of the biggest reasons teams keep going in circles is when team members don’t feel like they can give honest feedback. The entire team needs to be accountable to each other, and the only way for that to happen is if every team member feels like they have a voice on the team. So, make opportunity for it. One way to do that is by sending out a monthly questionnaire/report to your team where they can give you their honest opinion. Secondly, don’t let “getting to the next topic” or “ending on time” take the breath out of a passionate discussion with the team during meetings.
4. Provide the tools to succeed
In today’s technologically-advanced culture, it’s easy to provide free tools for your team that will keep everyone on the same page. The tools that I currently use with my team the most are Evernote and Quip. We also share our calendars through Church Community Builder and Apple Calendar. The more ways your team has to be accountable to tasks, the greater the result will be. You can find dozens of tools right here on Mister Nifty to share with your team.
There is no greater feeling than winning as a team! So set obtainable goals, have productive meetings, give opportunity for honest feedback, and provide tools for your team to succeed. Carry out these four tasks and watch the momentum of your team change over the next year.