Our church recently wrapped up a a 3-year constitutional review process. As you can imagine, this resulted in many changes for us including the ways in which we meet and communicate with one another. How can we best use our time and talents in a way pleasing to God while also being mindful of the time we have committed to obligations and responsibilities outside the church? What's the best way to gather our entire ministry team, staff and volunteer, together for face-to-face conversation and discussion of issues outside and within our congregation?

Enter the Leadership Summit -- a 3 1/2 hour gathering twice a year of all of the leaders within our church. We have just completed our fourth summit and are continuing to work out how best to use this time. So far, we have used it to discuss a church-wide Listening Process within our assigned ministry teams, review church logistical and educational information, introduce new leaders to one another, gather input on a certain topic, disburse gifts discernment results to our ministry teams, and team build.

Although we have an agenda for every summit, it is not always the same agenda. One of the best things about this twice-yearly summit is the flexibility we have given it to fit what is currently happening in the life of our church. While everyone on the leadership team sees each other throughout the year, these summits are usually the only gatherings where every leader is together. There's just something about bouncing ideas off the whole group face-to-face that doesn't happen in email or within smaller groups. Having a focused leadership time outside of our normal leadership obligations has also been very beneficial to us as we can cross-collaborate with other ministry teams "on the spot" and really build up a lot of momentum for an idea in a very short amount of time.

Just like everyone else, carving a whole Saturday morning, once in the spring and once in the fall, out of our schedule is difficult with all of the other to-dos on our list. We are reaping the rewards, though, and are excited to see how it could continue to benefit us for many years to come.