I am excited this morning. Like actually excited. Just a few clicks below Christmas morning excited (it is admittedly hard to beat Christmas morning). My head sprang up off the pillow with a sense of joy and excitement I’ve not seen in a while. The coffee tastes better this morning. The air seems crisper, cleaner, and more full of wonder. What could possibly cause all of this excitement and jolly-ness in me today?
I get to go to staff meeting.
I’ll give you a second to recover, because this isn’t something that people typically get excited about. In fact, I’ve heard from several people in the youth ministry world that they hate their staff meetings, that they have disagreements with the staff they are surrounded by, that they don’t get along with people. I’ve frankly never understood this. I suppose it’s a carry-over from the days when we in youth ministry felt the need to justify our ministries to everyone we met. Maybe that’s still the case in some of the churches out there, though I surely hope not. At least here at Westminster, everybody takes youth ministry very seriously, and so it only makes sense for us to take every other ministry seriously.
Our staff meetings aren’t that innovative or unique. We start at 9 (in just a few minutes actually) with a bible study, where we will review the texts that whoever is preaching that week will be using. It’s a great space if you’re preaching, because you get to hear the insights of the 10 or so people sitting around the room on the text. If you do it right, you don’t even have an idea where the sermon is going before that study, you just have the texts and you let the staff people around you help shape the direction. Sermons should (at least every once in a while) be born out of community, and this is a great way to do that. After the bible study, we go up the hall to the conference room to talk through the calendar, see what everybody is working on in the coming days, and pray for each other. It is the church staff equivalent of asking “what’s up?”, and it gives helpful insight into what everyone’s working on. Everyone around the circle is incredibly passionate about their ministry area, and if I was excited about nothing else I would be excited about just listening to their passion for ministry.
I don’t know what your church setting looks like, what shape your staff meetings take, how you get along with the people around you. I hope and pray yours is a situation like mine. But if it’s not, my question would be what steps can you, the lowly youth worker, do to improve the culture of collaboration in your church? How could you reach out to work with another ministry area on something, maybe a joint project or even just getting together to pray for each other’s ministry? Big change can start with just one person, so it might just as well be you!
As for me, I’ve got a staff meeting to get to.