Healthy ministries have healthy leadership teams. Healthy leadership teams don’t just happen, they’re equipped and empowered.
In our context, we facilitate equipping and empowering primarily through monthly leadership meetings (except June and December).
When we recruit leaders we tell them that leadership meeting is the most important thing we do every month (outside of our small group time). We’ve learned that leaders will place importance on this time if, and only if, the meetings have value. It’s been a learning process for us in facilitating an hour and a half every month that adds value. I’m the first to admit that I’ve hosted quite a few meetings that were not worth my leader’s time!
This past year, however, (2011-12) we averaged 79% of classes attending our meetings. Our goal is 80%. That’s a significant improvement over years past. We’re happy with the progress. Here’s a few things we’ve done this year that we believe have helped add value to our leader’s time and ministry and increased our attendance.
1. Set up a collaborative learning environment
Our most effective meetings (based on feedback from leaders) typically happens when more than just the person training (typically me) has a chance to speak into the learning process. Because of that, we set up our meeting space with round tables. We place our leaders at tables with small group leaders who teach in the same grade and gender.
2. Allow time for leaders to get to know each other
We do this at the beginning so they are already inclined to talk when we get into our training time.
3. Use background music to encourage conversation
When we throw discussion questions to the tables, we’ve found that a little background noise helps facilitate conversation. I think it helps leaders not feel like they are being overheard at another table or maybe it just helps drown out the next tables discussion.
4. Have a clear learning destination
Our training always focuses on one of three general topics…process, purpose, or proficiency. Leaders should walk away with at least one specific application for their ministry area. For our most recent meeting, we had two destinations…(1) Establishing a small group routine and (2) What to do in the 1st 30 days with my group.
5. Cast vision
Vision is more attractive than need. Vision motivates the journey. While a leader may have come to your ministry because of your need, they will stick because of your vision.
6. Celebrate the activity of God
Student ministry is a messy, difficult calling. Telling the stories of God’s activity helps leaders remember why we came here in the first place.
Why do you think leadership meetings have difficulty gaining traction?
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