Leading stand-up meetings

By Jim LaDoux
Your meeting outcomes should frame the format, setting, and flow of your meetings. There are four basic types of meetings most leaders engage in:

  1. Logistical meetings that focus on what’s recently happened (in the past week) and what’s happening in the next week or two. They may be “stand up” meetings that last no longer than 20 minutes.
  2. Solutions-centered meetings where the order of the day is to address a specific challenge, explore an emerging opportunity, brainstorm possibilities about an event or program, learn together, or share in a team building experience. These meetings usually last from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Monthly Review and Next Steps meetings where people check in on the progress they’ve made on projects and goals for the month, list next steps for the next 30 days, and explore ways to foster collaboration with team members. These meetings usually run 60-90 minutes.
  4. Strategic/visioning meetings often take place off-site, meet once a quarter, and usually last 3-6 hours. They focus on the impact and reach of their ministries. Time is set aside to discern whether team members are investing time, energy, and resources in the right things. These vision-focused meetings may be referred to as "retreats". They provide a clearing space for individuals and teams to reflect on ministry, rethink their assumptions, and re-imagine new ways to think about and approach their ministries.

Facilitating Stand-up Meetings

“Stand up” meetings are growing in popularity. They are designed to keep conversations among team members brief and to the point. Listed below is a sample stand up meeting agenda:

  1. An opening devotion that may include singing a song, dwelling on scripture, listening to poetry, or piloting a prayer practice (3-5 minutes).
  2. Listening to 90 second updates from each team member (30 seconds to share 1-3 highlights from the past week, 30 seconds to state what people are working on in the next week, and 30 seconds to share what they need from others on the team or to indicate who they need to talk to after the stand-up meeting. The length of time each team member shares may depend on how many are present at the meeting.
  3. A quick review of upcoming project deadlines.
  4. A closing prayer is offered for each person, the ministries they oversee, and the people they serve.

Stand up meetings are frequently used with teams who use online project management software such as Basecamp, Slack, Yammer, Trello, and Smartsheet to share information and ideas. Besides coordinating projects such as website updates or launching new small groups, these platforms provide venues for leaders to:
  • List bright spots in ministry and what people accomplished last week in light of their goals.
  • List key goals and projects people are working on this week.
  • Share notes from a conference, learnings from a podcast, or a new idea they’d like to try.
  • List prayer concerns, updates on members, and ways that new members are engaging in ministry. 
  • Share insights and ideas that have come from books and articles team members are reading together.
  •  Respond to questions from the WATER or How Has God SHAPED You? forms.
  • Build meeting agendas, post meeting minutes, and share pertinent documents.
  • Submit invoices to be paid and receipts to be reimbursed (for example: using the Scannable app).

Good meetings are focus, build community, inspire team members, and reinforce helpful norms. Stand-up meetings can do all these things while also helping people be good stewards of their time and energy.  Consider experimenting with a stand-up meeting sometime in the next month.


  1. Which monthly meetings do you attend that may benefit from a stand-up meeting?
  2. Which monthly meetings do you plan and lead that could designed as a stand-up?
Posted in

No Comments