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GUEST POST: How To Make Youth Volunteer Meetings Worthwhile

 —  October 8, 2012 — 6 Comments

Great ministry teams are key to effective and fulfilling ministry! Part of creating and sustaining a great team is ensuring that we meet regularly to be reminded why we do what we do, and to refocus on the vision. But, can I be honest for moment? I dislike meetings greatly! Although I see the need to meet, it’s sometimes hard for me (and my volunteers), to get excited about youth ministry team meetings!

However, with all that said, I have discovered four essential ways that help our team to be reminded of why we do what we do, and refocus on the vision, without it feeling like it’s an insurance seminar:

1) Celebrate What God Has Done: At every meeting I give my team the opportunity to share all the ways they have seen God moving in our student ministry. It’s human nature to get to a meeting and quickly focus on all that needs to be changed, tweaked, or challenged. Before we know it, we are looking to fix a plethora of problems. Every ministry will have issues and challenges, but that cannot be where we begin our meetings. It’s imperative that we begin by letting leaders talk about what God has been up to. When my leaders share their stories of changed lives, it paints the clearest picture of why we do what we do.

2) Talk Less, Type More! Part of refocusing the vision is ensuring that we provide a strategy and plan to accomplish the vision. My experience is that volunteers will only take in so much at a meeting. These days I talk through plans and strategy while also ensuring it is on paper or sent by email. This helps our meetings to move forward quickly knowing that leaders can go back to the details later. Don’t try to cover the details!

3) Make it Fun! Whether you give out some fun awards to leaders, share funny stories of ministry, or have your meeting at a fun coffee house, it’s essential to keep your meetings light and fun! Student ministry is highly rewarding but it also has its time of gut wrenching moments too. Therefore it’s essential that your team is able to breathe and refocus on the fun aspects when you come together.

4) Prayer: This should be number one on this list! Part of the reason I put this last was to communicate how we often allow it to slip to last place on our agenda. Sadly, I am guilty of this too often, and it is something that I am rectifying for myself and team. Prayer is the most effective way of being reminded by why we do what we do. When we pray, God does something amazing in our hearts and in the unity of the team. If you have been letting prayer slip down your agenda, I urge you to join me in making it a greater priority.

If you are the paid leader, what would you add to this list? Or maybe you are a volunteer who has experienced great meetings? What made them great?

Phil Bell is a high school pastor from Brighton, MI and is a tea drinking, soccer playing Englishman! He is passionate about developing youth ministry leaders for the future, and blogs over at youthworktalk.com

Geoff Stewart

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6 responses to GUEST POST: How To Make Youth Volunteer Meetings Worthwhile

  1. LOCATIONS- Change local, don’t always do it at your church or your pastors house. Switch it up. Find families with the room to host it, meet at a bowling ally once and meet then play some. Doing it different now and then is a good thing, keeps things fresh and fun…

  2. Build community.

    For some of your leaders, your volunteer team is the closest place they have to authentic community. Others have different places where they connect well with other adults. For those who are finding their greatest connections within the student ministry we must find time and space for them to develop and grow friendships.

    Sometimes we should just get together to be together. Go to dinner, hang at someone’s house or catch a movie. The best teams are a group of people committed to Jesus, one another and then students.

    Oh yeah, thanks for the thoughts. Great reminders!

  3. While I completely agree with having more “fun” aspects to team meetings, especially in building relationships with one another- I have struggled to convince some that it’s not just a waste of their time. Maybe it’s the hurried “all about business” culture of New England, but I’ve always struggled with this.

  4. Had a great meeting this week with my Volunteers (we have about 3 a year, would like to do monthly but schedules are hectic)

    I Buy Lunch! I spent about $10 per volunteer and bought lunch at a local Mexican Restaurant, we took over their banquet room and ate, laughed, shared life together and got business done, too! They give so much time already, so if you’re going to have a meeting make it fun and make it worth their time to come.

  5. GREAT thoughts on a hard to manage topic. Your thoughts on typing more/talking less speak of someone who has taken the time and been intentional with evaluating themselves and their programs. Thanks for sharing your observations and your wisdom! Leading a team of volunteers effectively is a skill to be mastered.

  6. Great conversation chaps! Thanks for your comments and additional ideas! Great stuff!

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