Each week at Calvary Monterey we hold an hour-long staff chapel. Currently held on Wednesdays after lunch, Staff Chapel is an opportunity for the staff of our church to gather together for prayer, worship, teaching, updates, and training. It is, for me, a significant way to impart to the entire team. It has been helpful, so I thought I would write for any pastor out there who has a group of key-leaders he wants to build up for the ministry the Lord has called them to.
1. Additional Feeding
Our team works hard to attend a weekend gathering, but often they will miss the teaching time at our church. If they miss the corporate teaching time, they will listen to the archive, but there is usually less impact when the word is received alone and from a recording. I mean, it’s just tough to get the same impact from a sermon while mowing your lawn. It’s okay, but not quite the same, so the staff chapel gives them an opportunity to receive the word in an undistracted and focused way.
2. Ministry Philosophies
Our team is large enough that I cannot personally mentor each person. They are a great group, determined to see Jesus Famous in every area of their lives and our church. But, as the lead pastor, it is important for me to teach them about ministry. As we tackle various books of the Bible, I make it my aim to talk to them about how ministry life works. My teachings differ at staff chapel from the teachings I give at the general church gathering because this group needs an accelerated knowledge of ministry principles and philosophies.
3. Doctrinal Perspectives
Additionally, in this context, I like sharing about various doctrinal positions. Though it is silly how often the Church will fight over secondary matters, we still have views on those doctrines, so staff chapel provides a good opportunity, from time to time, to walk these key leaders through doctrines we hold. Our church’s eschatology, pneumatology, or soteriology are all important to get into with this team.
4. Space for Prayer
The staff chapel time also gives us an opportunity to pray together. We don’t dedicate a large portion of every meeting to prayer, but some meetings are completely devoted to it. When a major opportunity is in front of us or there is a new open door in front of us, we will pray. Sometimes we will just flow in prayer and worship together and see where the Spirit takes us. My preference is to ditch the teaching once every month or two and replace it with a time waiting upon the Lord in prayer.
5. Time for Worship
Roughly half our meetings will begin with a few songs of worship led by one of the gifted worship leaders on staff. This time is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, many of them miss the worship time during our weekend gatherings. Second, it is difficult to shift one’s mind from work mode to worship mode, so a few songs of praise are helpful to make that transition. It is often in song and prayer we’re able to shift from the day’s work and activity and into a time of receiving God’s word.
6. A Chance to Give Updates
We try as much as we can post digital updates, but often people write updates that are way too time-consuming and elaborate, so they are barely skimmed. At times, there is an update in ministry that is good for the team to personally hear about, sometimes from me, but often from another team member. Often, updates like these lead to times of celebration and an increased sense of unity.
7. A Touchpoint
We are running, it seems, in a thousand directions all at once. Obviously, we'd like to have as cohesive and pointed of a mission as possible, but it often feels like we are a disjointed bunch. Though we are all fighting for Jesus Famous, the individual expressions and parts of that mission are varied. Staff Chapel gives us all a chance to pause, look around, and realize we are in this together.
8. Another Teaching Outlet
It is good for staff members to hear from one another, and also for the less experienced teachers to have a chance to grow in their giftings.
I'm not an advocate for unnecessary meetings. I dislike going to meetings with no purpose or agenda. I am not one to quickly add a meeting, standing or otherwise, to my calendar. However, I have found a weekly touchpoint for our leadership team is helpful to the overall mission of our church and would highly recommend something like it to every pastor-leader out there. Blessings!