The more recent conversation in our Student Life Leadership Team has been about defining our roles (last post) and focusing our meetings (this post). Now that we’ve established some large-frame infrastructures to support our ministry, we’ve developed some new growing edges around our team meetings and the need to be more focused and structured. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far.

New Growing Edges

  • We’re spending too much of our time during team meetings talking about the content–our thoughts, our perspectives, the kids’ needs, our struggles with how to teach it, etc.–and the creative elements of our weekly program. For the most part, it’s good to collaborate on the content of our messages and discussions. But not to the detriment of other areas of ministry vitality.
  • We’re spending too little of our time during team meetings talking about our small group leaders and their needs, our students, their needs, and where they are in their spiritual journeys.
  • We’re spending too little of our time developing community with each other, developing community among our small group leaders, and helping them build stronger community within their groups.
  • We’re spending too much time overlapping our areas of focus, reducing our effectiveness.
  • We’re spending too little time tending to the systems and routines of care, assimilation, and retention.

So, we’ve made a few adjustments to get back out in front of this growing edge.

Focusing Our Meetings

We’ve decided to put some real structure to both of our team meetings in order embrace the above roles more definitively, and to address some of the weaker growing edges noted above.

Weekly Leadership Team

9:30 Creative – Staff only (this is where we’ll collaborate on being creative with our gatherings)
10:00 Lay ministry leads join
10:00 Creative. Seth explaining large group creativity then leaving
10:10  Content. Discussing content for final clarity but not for general processing
10:30 Community. Discussing small group leaders, students, systems for care, growth, assimilation, and retention.
Plus, writing care notes/postcards to our small group leaders during this time while we talk.
11:00/11:15 End

Monthly Small Group Leaders’ Meeting

We gather our small group leaders once a month right after youth group for one hour. The first week’s meeting is for Middle School small group leaders. The second week is for JV small group leaders. And, the third week is for Varsity small group leaders.

8:00 Pastoral Training: Pastor Jim (Student Life) or Pastor Doug (Family Life) – shaping culture, equipping leaders
8:10 Program Training: Sarah (Program Director) – program, systems, communications, etc.
8:20 Content: Ministry Lead – review/overview curriculum, may return to youth pastor at some point…we’ll see
8:30 Community: Small Group Leaders – discussing students, their journey and needs, group dynamics, etc.
8:50 Prayer – Small Group Leaders group by grades to pray for their students and their personal needs
9:00 End

Author: Jim Murphy

Associate Pastor | NextGen Ministries Covenant Church, Bemidji, MN

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