Leading successful team meetings

Planning ahead/structure
You can rarely “wing it” effectively! It's very important to have some idea of what you want to accomplish before each team meeting. Have some extra ideas or agenda items ready for discussion. The goal is to have God lead and direct meeting times to see His goals accomplished. While it is best for the meetings to be initiated and led by the Holy Spirit, you are responsible as the team leader to pray and discern ahead of time what the plans will be for each session. Of course having plans does not mean that you cannot change them if you sense God leading in a different direction.

Delegating responsibilities
Beware of the temptation to do everything yourself. The best way to make sure that every person on the team feels that he or she is contributing and involved is for you to delegate responsibilities. Generally, don’t give away leadership of an entire team meeting but do delegate specific parts.

Leading a discussion
Ask open-ended questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” response. Discuss areas that you agree on and areas that you disagree on. Be certain to allow everyone to state their opinions whether you agree with them or not; if a team member feels that you always disagree with what he or she says, that person will stop talking. Be sure to keep the discussion on track. It is easy to get sidetracked but as leader you need to bring the discussion back to where it belongs. Ask how the issue being discussed can teach us about God and what God might want to be teaching members personally and/or as a team.

Keep your team informed
Tell them in advance what will occur in the meeting, day, week, etc.
  • “On Friday, Jim will be leading our prayer time.”
  • “On Wednesday, we’ll go play soccer in the park.”
  • “This coming Friday, I thought we might have an extended prayer time and then do something special. What would you like to do?”
  • “Be prepared to discuss James 3. Please have two points ready to discuss that you find helpful or interesting.”
Cultivate flexibility
Beware of falling into a rut and not sensing the needs of the team or individual members. Remember that team times should reflect the identity of the combined personalities of team members, not just the personality of the team leader. Allow the team and yourself to discern together what areas should be emphasized more than others and what activities you will do together.