Meeting and Connecting
In the church, meetings are typically used to discuss program status, give progress reports, and/or brainstorm new and creative ideas. Yet you should keep in mind that meetings with and for volunteers should be deeper in nature. During volunteer meetings, you should offer opportunity for fellowship and care. In doing this, you create an environment of connection and camaraderie which will ultimately increase the quality and effectiveness of volunteer work.
Purpose: To help you provide information that cannot be conveyed through another medium, but most especially, to help you create an atmosphere of care and connection among volunteers.
Step 1: Determining if a Meeting is Necessary
Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if there is a need for conversation on a topic. If the same information can be covered in an email or a brief report, there is no need schedule a meeting. You should reserve meetings for a time when face-to-face sharing is necessary.
Step 2: Running Effective Meetings
If you determine that a meeting is necessary, prepare set objectives for both fellowship and the communication of information. Each meeting should include, at minimum, the following elements:
- Bookend the meeting with prayer.
- Schedule time for sharing and fellowship.
- Communicate the meeting objectives by listing the topics you will cover and the time allotted for each topic.
- Distribute assignments for tasks and projects during the meeting.
The following additional tips are for fostering connection:
- Be respectful of participants by scheduling the meeting at an appropriate time.
- Begin and end the meeting on time.
- Share scripture or devotions, followed by prayer (participants can share this responsibility).
- Make sure all participants have the opportunity to speak or share.
- Disagree with ideas or proposals, not people.
- Affirm and celebrate everyone.
- Find ways for the attendees to participate; greater participation results in deeper connections.
- Ask each participant to share prayer requests; have participants commit to maintaining confidentiality and praying for each other.
- Occasionally schedule a meeting only for fellowship and fun. This can allow for relationships to grow and teamwork to flourish.
- Consider meeting at a coffee shop or each others' homes.