Most people hate meetings. But they don’t have to hate yours. Meetings can be meaningful events in the life of your ministry that add value to everyone who attends. But how do we create those kind of experiences for our volunteers? Here are a couple of ways:
Make Them Infrequent
The big idea here is less talking ABOUT ministry and more DOING ministry. If your volunteers are in too many meetings they can’t do what you need them to. Minimize the number of meetings. 3 – 4 times a year is probably enough. Spend the rest of the time hanging out one-on-one or in small groups over coffee, a meal or doing something fun. That relational time will do more for your team than any meeting.
Make Them Focused
Know the 1 big thing you want to cover in your meeting. If you try to cram too much in people’s heads will explode and you don’t want that (because brain is hard to get out of carpet). If it’s a small group training, just talk about small groups. If it’s check-in procedure, then focus just on that. Don’t squeeze everything you know about Children’s Ministry into one meeting. Side Note: If you can cover it in an email, then do that and skip the meeting.
If you do need to pull your volunteers out of their routine make sure there’s food. The hungrier your team is, the less they’ll be able to hear of what you’re saying.
Give Them Notice
Nobody likes surprises (unless it’s Ed McMahon telling you that you won the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes, which would be even MORE surprising because he died in 2009). Give your leaders plenty of notice. Usually a month is plenty.
This one’s a little tougher if your in the world of Children’s Ministry. Whenever someone in the church needs childcare they usually come to us. But where do we go when we need it? If you’re meeting with your early childhood team ask some elementary leaders to help. And vice versa. Or ask your Student Ministry team to organize some students (they probably owe you one anyway). Free childcare makes your meetings more accessible to your volunteers.
Make It Fun
Every meeting should have an element of fun. Maybe it’s a game or an ice breaker. Maybe it’s the decor and the music. Or maybe it’s a funny video that ties in with what you’re talking about. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as it helps your team have fun.
How can you make your meetings more meaningful for your volunteers?