Chance Mikos is a bishop in El Mirage Arizona. He is a former Elders Quorum President and high councilman, and a former missionary in the Boise Idaho mission. Check out his interview on the How I Lead segment of the podcast. 

Enter Bishop Mikos

Most of us reading this website have meetings, lots and lots of meetings. Sometimes meetings to plan a meeting. Over my 20+ years in LDS Church leadership, I have spent 100’s of hours sitting in meetings. The first thing I’d mention is meetings are necessary; however, meetings aren’t the gospel. I find the best meetings are the ones that have a clear focus on helping or changing people. The second thing I would say is that the best meetings I’ve attended have been different from your standard, sit in a room and look at each other, meetings. So what do I mean? I hope to share a couple of ideas with you that may help keep the endless meetings a little more enjoyable.

1. By all means, end the meeting early.

If you are a Bishop or presiding authority at the meeting you have complete control of the agenda and pace of the meeting. If you can accomplish an hour meeting in 15 minutes, DO IT. Just because the agenda has an hour for the meeting time doesn’t require you to fill the time. Hit the agenda items and let everyone go home. That will make you a hero in the eyes of many you serve with. (Didn’t most of us rejoice just a bit when we got out early from General Priesthood meeting in October of 2015? Don’t lie, I know you did.)

2. Take the meeting home.

Another favorite strategy of mine is meeting in my home. This isn’t a frequent occasion due to having multiple meetings stacked one after another on Sundays. But every once in awhile we get an issue that requires a weekday evening meeting. I love to have those meetings in my living room. The change in environment often changes our outlook on an issue. I notice my councilors always sit in the same chairs during our usual meetings. This change of venue requires a change in habits or patterns, churning up fresh ideas or perspectives.

3. A Meeting with treats is well… a treat.

Next on my list are treats. This one is self explanatory but I love treats; and a meeting with treats is well… a treat. I was lucky to inherit a mini fridge from the previous Bishop. We keep it stocked with drinks and snacks. It’s been a lifesaver more than once as we meet late into the night trying to figure out issues or callings.

4. The Breakfast Meeting!

Lastly, is my number one favorite meeting; the breakfast meeting! On the last Saturday of every month, my councilors and I meet early and have breakfast at a local restaurant. We plan the next month’s speakers and topics. With the new ward council emphasis on planning sacrament meeting we use that time to prepare ideas for our ward council meeting. We discuss issues in the ward and try to fit talks to help address these needs. We also get a chance to just talk about life and enjoy a meal together. There is something very powerful about this and I highly recommend this type of meeting. There are some great scriptural examples of meetings over a meal.

Keeping meetings fresh is a skill every good leader should work on. New approaches to meetings can result in fresh ideas and solutions. I understand that many of the meetings we hold can’t include these elements. Sometimes we have to have the standard, run of the mill meeting, but when you can change things up you should. I’m sure there are many others out there that could add to the list and I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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