Slam-Dunk Staff Development Ideas

Staff development is a tricky “to do” list item. It’s a “must-do” for the health of your organization. But in the midst of busy workweeks, staff development can become a “must-we-do-this?” for your staff members.

We’ve recently had two great opportunities we thought we’d share.

At each of our church locations, the local staff gathers every two weeks or so for staff meetings. This bi-weekly time is already carved into each staff member’s schedule. So hijacking that regularly-scheduled time reduces one major hurdle to successful staff development—busy schedules.

At our North Point staff meeting this week, we were treated to a surprise guest speaker: Tommy Newberry, author of the New York Times bestseller, The 4:8 Principle and founder/head coach of The 1% Club. (Tip: Making it a surprise, in-person reveal is a no-brainer way to make the whole thing feel more special.)

Tommy challenged us with Paul’s challenge to the Phillipians: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phillipians 4:8 NIV)

[If you’re interested in learning more about the content of Tommy’s talk and the lessons in this verse, read The 4:8 Principle or visit his blog here.]

Takeaway: Tommy has numerous connections with staff members and church attendees so the invitation to him was a natural one. Does anyone on your staff have connections you could leverage in this way? Do you have an industry leader, coach, or gifted speaker sitting in your rows on Sunday? Extend the invite!

The second development event was coordinated by our MarriedLife team as a special opportunity for our married staffers. Four couples (who also happened to be the parents of some of our team members) shared their wisdom on marriage and parenting—the good, the bad, and the practical.

While we had dessert and coffee on Thursday evening, the panel of parents talked about what they got right in their first five years of marriage; what they admired most in their spouse; and how they raised such all-star kids.

Takeaway: Could segmenting your staff (e.g., married folks, parents, men, women, etc.) create the opportunity for a really cool development event? How can you learn from the wisdom of folks already connected to your church/staff?