youth worker, youth ministry, leadership

Why Meetings?

By Doug Franklin February 8, 2011

As church leaders we love meetings. We like to have meetings, we like to get together with people, and we like to talk about stuff we are thinking about doing. However, most meetings don’t really produce anything. They don’t improve our ministries, they don’t bring new insight to problems, and they don’t provide real change. But we love our meetings. So how can we make meetings more productive, especially those of us in youth ministry where we only get a few minutes every month to meet with our adult leaders? I could tell you the basics of a good meeting: have an agenda, move through the points quickly, and leave time at the end for questions. But we all know that that doesn’t work either. I think the following make great meetings:

1. Focus on fun

Everyone who comes to a church meeting knows it’s going to be boring. This is an opportunity for us as leaders. The other day my church asked me if I would do a training event for nursery workers. I told him I know nothing about the nursery but I could sure make it fun. I took a bunch of pieces of Styrofoam and laid it all over the gym floor at the church. I spread gold coins that I got from foreign countries on the floor next to the foam pieces. I put everybody in pairs and blindfolded one team member in each pair. I told the person that could see to help the blindfolded partner move around the Styrofoam and find the gold coins. I told them they couldn’t touch the Styrofoam because they were land mines. The nursery workers had a great time trying to find the coins amongst the land mines. At the end I explained to the nursery workers that the gold coin were the children they worked with. The Styrofoam pieces were the obstacles that kept them from working with kids. I also explained that our children are precious like gold coins. We all had fun and learned a lot. Church meetings don’t have to be boring; make them interactive and fun and you’ll make the meetings worthwhile.

2. The calendar is death

Most church meetings are about reviewing the calendar of events that are coming up. We spend a lot of time on the calendar because we think it’s really important. The calendar is not important, and everybody can read one. So just pass it out and talk about the event. Spend time helping people understand how the event will be transformational. This sets the vision for the event and helps them understand what the focus of the event will be. Remember calendar is the death of the meeting… stay away from it.

3. Meetings are too long

Most church meetings try to cover 10 different points. No one can take in that much information. All you can really talk about at a church meeting is one or two critical points. If you keep your meeting to one or two critical conversations then your meeting will move quickly and people will have the energy to talk and interact. Remember, keep your meeting short, only talk about one or two things in the meeting and it will actually energize people.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More