Last Sunday I tweeted that we were having our youth leader meeting. Several people asked for an overview of what we do at our meetings/trainings, so here ya go.
First, I should mention that the purpose of our meetings is not to cover a lot of business items and make decisions — with an adult team of 60-some leaders, that would take forever and isn’t a good use of everyone’s time. Instead, we have a smaller Youth Ministry Executive team of long-term, committed, experienced youth leaders from each major area of our ministry that takes care of business items. That allows us to use the larger leader meetings like last Sunday to encourage, support, equip and unify our team. We found that without these meetings, leaders tend to get tunnel-vision about their specific area of ministry, focused so intensely on their small corner of the larger youth ministry that they sometimes loose sight of the bigger picture. The meetings let us re-group, get to know each other (some leaders don’t known other leaders on our team), hear what God’s doing in the ministry as a whole, and refocus on our ministry’s vision together.
We do the meetings every-other-month because the Exec Team figured it is better to have more people at fewer meetings than it is to have few people at frequent meetings. We provide lunch for the team right after our last Sunday morning service and we try to keep the meetings no longer than an hour and 15 minutes long, hour and a half max.
But even though we try to make it as easy as possible for people to attend, we still usually end up with only about 10 leaders or so at each meeting, which is honestly a bit frustrating and kind of defeats the unity purpose of the meeting. One of our associate pastors told me I should make the meetings an understood expectation from the very beginning of the recruitment stage, which is good input I’ll be using. It’s still difficult to make anything required for volunteers, though, otherwise I’d make the Simply Youth Ministry Conference mandatory for them all.
This is a typical agenda use for these meetings, although last Sunday the discussion went a bit differently than I planned due to some people sharing some pretty significant God-stories and struggles that we talked about instead, which is definitely more important than my agenda.
1. Introductions: Your name, area of ministry, what you like best about serving teenagers. (15 minutes)
2. Share God sightings, encouraging stories, things that excite you about what you see taking place with students. (15 minutes)
3. Share struggles, receive advice (15 minutes)
4. Briefly announce business items/decisions (5 minutes)
5. Training: Important training notes from the Simply Youth Ministry Conference led by 4 leaders who attended the conference (20 minutes)
6. Thank you for serving these teens and the body of Christ! (2 minutes)
7. Pray for the ministry and for teenagers (5 minutes)
How do you all get leaders to show up at your meetings? How often do you meet? What do you try to accomplish with your meetings? Please share in the comments below.