We’ve done volunteer meetings lots of different ways from in person , to online, over Facebook™ but there is something about meeting face to face that is my favorite by far. When we meet with our team here is are some core values around our time meeting together.

Consistency: Commit to meeting regularly that that you can keep tabs on how your leaders are and what God is doing in their groups. Consistency is key to having leaders committing to be a part the meetings.

Prepared: Our volunteers give up a lot of time as it is, so when we ask them to come to an extra meeting, you better believe we are going to be prepared for it. I have heard of groups that send out an agenda with questions before hand so that any leader that misses the meeting can still provide feedback.

Eat Together: There is something awesome about breaking bread together and enjoying a meal with your team. We make a point to grill up some steaks with our volunteers. Our hope is that it conveys a small part of our appreciation for what they do.

Learn Together: Whether a training video, or some sort of short lesson leadership, having our whole team together is a great opportunity to learn to lead better together.

Discuss, pray: A part of every meeting is a chance to discuss issues and utilize the collective experience of the group for dealing with issues that students are dealing with. Every meeting also has a time where we can pray for one another as well our students and seek the Lord for guidance and protection for our team.

Hand out the calendar/resources: Each meeting we try and make sure that our team leaves with the tools they need to lead in the next coming weeks as well as an idea of what is coming down the pipe so they are not caught off guard by an event or change of program.

Value Their Time: The meetings are not longer than they need to be, as we know that our volunteers have family, friends and homework to take care of. We value their time that they give and take only what we need to have an effective meeting.

JG

Loved Doug Fields’ blog post the other day about valuing people. Here’s a little clip of his complete thought – this is something that every youth worker has to work to master when working with a team of volunteers. Good stuff:

2. Give feedback
As a leader, your constructive feedback is vital to an individual feeling valued. Most followers are desperate for validation and they want to be recognized for their contribution. They’ll follow, work and give their heart if they feel like they’re following someone who cares enough about them to give them feedback about their contribution. When you take the time to give specific feedback (even if it’s occasional negative/constructive), you are adding to their personal sense of value. It’s not unusual for a person to work for, serve, volunteer years of service and not get any specific and personal feedback from their “boss”…it’s not unusual, but it’s definitely tragic.

3. Affirm, affirm, affirm
This should go without saying, and unfortunately, many times it does. I know leaders will say, “He knows he’s important to me.” Really? When was the last time you told him? It ought to be often! This is such a basic principle that it’s almost embarrassing to write, but I find it so rare in leaders that it’s worth mentioning and repeating.

JG