Throughout this series we have looked at your individual role on the team; your ministry’s role in the bigger picture; designing the team; and placing people on the team. Now it is time to talk about how we keep the team moving in the right direction.
Every team meeting will look different based on the personalities and visions of the leaders. But below are a few elements I have discovered as essential to healthy team meetings.
The words of the old hymn “if one has a heartache, we all shed a tear” fully applies at this point. Either you or a designated “shepherd” should be in touch with team members regularly. Keep personal struggles away from team meetings. Bringing silent heartache into a team meeting will affect the entire team. Team members need to be authentic but caution the women against using ministry as an escape from family or other personal struggles. Seeking godly counsel and prayer support for personal issues outside of ministry team meetings allows the team to focus and function as a healthy united body.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. ~ James 1:5
God-awesome results start with prayer. Pray as you plan the meeting. Pray for God to make himself known as you begin the meeting. Pray anytime the discussion seems to get tense or off track during the meeting. Pray as you end that God would release his power through your everyday life and ministry.
Consider including a “Prayer Warrior” on your team whose role is simply to pray quietly throughout the entire meeting. Encourage her to intercede for each subject being discussed with the invitation to interrupt and take the group to prayer any time a spirit of disunity or frustration is sensed. Some prayer warriors may choose to have a prayer team which gathers at the same time but in a different room from the ministry team.
Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:40
A team meeting is a gathering of gifts intended to function together as one body. The agenda helps everyone move in the same direction at the same pace. Use the agenda as a guide but it doesn’t have to be confining. If you need to break away from the agenda, don’t be afraid to do so. Make sure it is the Holy Spirit - rather than dominate personalities, fears, or appearance of crisis - taking you into unknown territories.
Use the agenda to cast vision and remind everyone of dependence on God’s leadership. Divide your agenda according to various aspects of your ministry vision or goals (i.e. evangelism, spiritual growth, outreach, etc.). Or use headers such as “What God has Done” to hear reports on recent ministry events and activities; “What God is Doing” for the discussion of current projects and ministries recently started; and “Where God is Leading” to introduce new subjects. In all these areas, be sure to include life-changing answers to prayer.
Use team meetings to develop leadership skills. When the discussion is in a specific team member’s area of ministry, let her lead the discussion. Before you interject with your thoughts remember this Steven Covey quote, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Ask questions of the team member to help her paint a verbal picture of her God-given passion. This will give her confidence in her ability to lead and inspire the rest of the team as they see her enthusiasm grow.
End with Expectation
End on time! Summarize any unfinished discussions and confirm assignments, tasks, and information needed for the next meeting. Have a time of silent reflection allowing God’s peace to settle on the meeting before a few words in a closing prayer time. Create some type of unique team bonding for your departure – a group hug, team huddle with a “yeah God” shout – something that makes you feel like a healthy smiling team, anxious to see what God will do as a result of this meeting.