To have a thriving small group ministry, you need leaders that are envisioned, encouraged, and motivated. The main way that you give your leaders the vision and encouragement that they need is through great small group leader meetings.
Unfortunately many churches struggle to do these meetings right and consequently their leadership meetings have minimal impact and are poorly attended. Doing great leader meetings isn’t that complicated, however. Here’s my advice on how do do them right…
- Provide food. Anytime you offer a meal it significantly increases attendance and fellowship. This involves some cost but it’s a small part of your overall budget and investing in your leaders is the best ministry investment you can make.
- Offer childcare. Probably many of your leaders have children. If you offer childcare, you’ll get a lot more of them there.
- Make the focus of your meetings vision, worship, and ministry, not training. The most common mistake that churches make with their leadership team meetings is making them heavy on training. Training, however, is not the felt need of most leaders. What they want isn’t intensive training but a chance to receive prayer, personal ministry and fresh vision. We vary the format and schedule but here’s a typical flow for our leadership team meetings, which are usually the first Monday evening of the month.
6:30 We tell people to clear their tables and move to the auditorium
6:40 Announcements and awards
6:50 Talk (Vision from the Senior Pastor, or Short Training by Small Group Team)
7:30-8:30 Sharing and personal ministry with the other leaders in their coaching group or team
- Invite your other ministry team leaders. Don’t just include your small group leaders. People leading your other teams and ministries also need encouragement and ministry.
- Have fun! One way to make your meetings fun is to give out awards. It’s good to give two kinds of awards. First, recognize and reward those who have multiplied their group or sent out a new leader to start a new group or ministry. Second, give “above and beyond” awards to those who deserve special recognition. These are awards to people who have completed a big project, or who have led their group or ministry the longest or who drive the farthest to lead their group.
- Do leadership team meetings regularly. You need to get your leaders together at least quarterly. Monthly is ideal. At our church we do six “regular” leadership team meetings a year and then we also add an annual appreciation banquet, a training rally with a variety of workshops, and Christmas parties in the small group coaches’ homes. So each leader has nine opportunities a year to get built up, encouraged and envisioned.
Follow these six principles and your have high impact leader meetings that people love to come to. What advice or insights do you have on doing great small group leader meetings? What questions do you have?