When was the last time you said, “Man, I need more meetings in my life.”
Or how about this one:
“Another meeting would bring more meaning to my life.”
While most people try their best to avoid meetings, they are necessary to set direction, communicate vision, and build a healthy team.
Family ministries can leverage volunteer meetings to encourage and equip their leaders, all while building momentum.
But many pastors fail to leverage volunteer meetings.
How do I know?
Most volunteers avoid, or even worse, dread, attending ministry meetings.
Every meeting can be better. Better meetings lead to more effective ministry and volunteer retention.
Here are 10 simple tips for creating valuable volunteer meetings.
10 Simple Tips For Creating Valuable Volunteer Meetings
Share Stories Of What God Is Doing
As the leader, it is easier for you to hear stories of how God is moving. Your volunteers aren’t as lucky. You must make it a priority to start every volunteer meeting by sharing the impact the Gospel is making in people’s lives. Nothing is more motivating than knowing your energy and effort are making a difference.
Come With An Agenda
Agendas help you focus the meeting. The last thing your busy, unpaid volunteer wants is to attend a pointless meeting. This is a no-brainer, but it tends to be the first item that gets pushed out of our to-do lists when we get busy.
Specify The Length Of The Meeting And Stick To It
Speaking of wasting time — you need to specify the length of the meeting and stick to it. You might get a five minute grace period if you go over. Going 15-plus minutes over doesn’t communicate more info. It communicates that you are unorganized.
Meetings must be accessible for your team. Less leaders will attend if they have to jump through a ton of hoops to find childcare. Heaven forbid if they would have to pay for childcare to attend your meeting. Go ahead and budget to provide childcare during your meetings. Give a few high school girls some Starbucks gifts cards and you all are set.
Meet When Leaders Are Already At The Church
Do you have two services? Plan on meeting with your leaders during the second service. There are several benefits to this plan. Their children are taken care of. You will not go over on time. More leaders will already be attending at that time slot. You don’t have to provide a lunch. There are a few considerations you will have to take into account: 1. Don’t meet during corporate worship more than once a semester. Your people will be frustrated to miss worship. 2. Get the support of your leadership before you schedule a meeting during a worship time.
Plan For Conversations
No one wants to hear you lecture for an hour. You need to engage your leaders in conversation during the meeting. You need their input. You need their ideas. You need their buy-in. The only way you can get those is if each person has an opportunity to communicate during the meeting. Plan to ask key questions or walk through exercises that will get your leaders talking about the agenda items.
Provide Food And A Relaxed Atmosphere
Everyone wins when meetings have food. Don’t worry about catering a nice meal in for your student ministry leader meeting. (Although, doing that once a year is a nice treat for your leaders.) Find a volunteer who has a gift of hospitality and charge that person with buying some drinks and snacks for your meal. Creating a relaxed atmosphere will encourage conversation to go beyond the surface and into what is needed to minister on a deeper level.
Meet At A Home
There is something warm about meeting in a person’s home. Find a gracious host in your church and schedule your leadership team meeting at a home.
How are you going to ensure your leaders can lead? Are you going to back them with your budget? What about getting them sports passes to attend area football games? You need to communicate the specifics of your plan to support your team.
Come with a 6-9 Month Plan
It is your responsibility to set the direction for the ministry. Head into the meeting with a tentative direction on your smaller events for the next 6-9 months. Talk through these with the team and get their feedback. Your larger events (camps, disciple now, curriculum changes, etc.) need to be scheduled 12-18 months out. You won’t have the specifics laid out that far in advance, but you must have the dates confirmed.
How have you created engaging leadership team meetings?
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