Does the idea of hosting a team meeting with your volunteers make you less than enthusiastic? Do your team meetings have a history of being nonproductive? Even if you have never been to a John Maxwell Leadership Training Course you can hold a successful team meeting — one that will produce results for months to come. Today I’m sharing with you the loose framework I use when planning volunteer or team meetings.
First it is important to define what your team meetings are — not just in your mind but in the mind of your volunteers. I use very specific words when planning the meeting schedule and sending email invitations. For example, casual fellowships are called just that. We never combine planning meetings with fellowships. I found that when you do that you blur the lines and your planning time or your idea session is less productive. Plan your months and share the calendar with everyone on your team. Be very specific in the description of those meetings. We have a fellowship once, sometimes twice a month. We have planning meetings once a week.
Before the meeting I send an email reminding the attendees what the meeting is about. I explain what subjects we need to tackle and remind everyone that they will have five minutes to present their ideas. During those five minutes they get to speak uninterrupted to the group. I like this because my volunteers now think ahead of time about what they want to say. We chase less rabbit trails and we get much more done in the way of planning.
At the beginning of the meeting I remind everyone that any new business (or anything not on the schedule) will be discussed at the end of the meeting. That gives us plenty of time to discuss the topics that are on the table. We only get to new business if we have accomplished everything on our list. Many times new business has to be pushed to the next meeting.
Use a timer during your meeting. Even grown-ups like to play games and when you use your timer correctly it kind of feels like a game. At our meeting, especially during our brainstorming sessions, someone tracks the minutes. The timer is set for five minutes and placed at the center of the table. The volunteer gets to share all of his ideas in those five minutes. He is not interrupted and there are no questions asked unless invited. When the bell goes off, we take two minutes to discuss what the volunteer shared with us and then we continue to the next volunteer. At the end of this brainstorming session we take 15 minutes to put everything together. We pull out the ideas we most like and tackle the subjects that are on our list. It takes some practice but having structure in a meeting full of creative people is a must!
Be supportive of others. Even if you have been in ministry for 30 years and have heard it all — be supportive. Even if you have tried something and failed but someone else wants to try it — be supportive. You can do it!
Don’t miss more great advice on leading meetings from Jeff McClung.
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.