After nearly five years since our church was planted, I’ve concluded that there has been one type of meeting that I’ve regularly led that has had more of a positive impact on the future of our church than any other meeting. 

One meeting that has positively impacted morale. One meeting that has strengthened the relationships of our staff. One meeting that has nourished our personal love for Jesus. One meeting that has given us the clearest perspective on where we’ve been and where we’re going. This meeting is the catalyst for momentum. 


Every four months, I gather our staff team together for two days of “looking back” and “looking forward,” and after leading at least 10 of these (we missed a few in the early days), I am sure that it is a meeting that I will NEVER neglect leading again!


  • Slowing Down to connect with Jesus.
  • Building Morale to strengthen team. 
  • Celebrating Wins to honor God’s faithfulness.
  • Creating Clarity to unify our efforts.
  • Planning ahead to synch our calendars.


  • I lead a devotional thought from Scripture.
  • We have extended time in personal Scripture reading/prayer/journaling.
  • We celebrate what God has done in the previous 4 months by listing stories of life-change, moments of God’s favor, financial provision, etc. Anything that has the fingerprint of God on it, we remember and praise Him for!
  • We have a time of personal/professional development. This can be through a book we’re reading, a conference message we watch, a podcast we listen to, a blog post we think through, etc.
  • We set a THEMATIC GOAL. What is the one thing we are going to be focusing on accomplishing, together as a team, over the next four months?
  • We set one primary goal around each of our seven STANDARD OPERATING OBJECTIVES.
    • Sunday Services
    • Community Groups
    • Volunteer Teams
    • 1-1 Discipleship
    • Stewarding Finances
    • Assimilating 1st-Time Guests
    • Serving Elmhurst
  • We assign responsibilities to each of the goals. 
  • We calendar all major future events and meetings for the next four months.
  • We share meals with each other over the course of the two days and we typically have one “fun element” built into the two days as well. 

As a church planter, whether you have paid staff or not, I strongly encourage you to, every 3-4 months, gather your key leaders together to lead them forward in this way. You will not regret the time invested!

If there is anything I can do to serve you in facilitating a meeting similar to this, please feel to drop a comment below!