This article was originally published in Leading LDS. Below is an excerpt.
Meetings in the Church—it’s a love/hate thing. Rarely do people enjoy attending meetings but we still discover ways to plan more meetings.
This may come across as a blunt message, but meetings are either well done or toxic and it’s important that leaders get them right. How you run a meeting has a dramatic influence on how you are loved as a leader. If you run a good meeting, those who follow you will be more willing to serve you. If you run a bad meeting, the only thing to increase is the eye-rolling.
I want to use Ward Council as the model in this post, but this information can be applied to most meetings within the church. When I say meeting I am not referring to any meetings in the 3 hour block. I’m talking about council meetings (ward council, presidency meetings, stake high council, etc.).
Handbook 2 (18.2) tells us that ward council should be held “regularly (at least monthly).” I’ve heard about general authorities visiting local stakes and encouraging bishops to hold ward council more than just once a month. Some are even mandating ward council to be held weekly.
I get it. I don’t think these authorities are trying to torture anyone with more meetings. They want the ward council to work together more often and elevate the ward in general; however, I’m not sure if scheduling more meetings is the answer. I’m not saying meeting as a ward council more often is a bad idea; but if you do, make sure you set some clear objectives and rules.
1. 60 Minute Limit (seriously)
Handbook 2 (4.6) advises ward council should be 60-90 minutes in duration. This is nice encouragement for those holding 3 hour meetings (you should be ashamed), but in reality there is no meeting that needs to go longer than 60 minutes. Do you disagree? (please comment below) Meetings longer than 60 minutes damage your effectiveness as a leader. Nobody enjoys them and they need to stop.
For the entire list of “unbreakable rules,” go to Leading LDS.