Below you’ll find the transcript for Episode 13: How to Host Great Women’s Ministry Team Meetings from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links.
EP 13: How to Host Great Women’s Ministry Team Meetings
Welcome to the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. I’m Cyndee Ownbey, your host and women’s ministry mentor. I’m the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox and the author of Rethinking Women’s Ministry. The Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast is a podcast for women’s ministry leaders and team members of all stages (from new to seasoned) serving in their local church community. If you’re looking for hope and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! In addition to discussing the nuts and bolts of women’s ministry, I’ll be asking seasoned women’s ministry leaders to share their best tips and the lessons they’ve learned. Together we’ll learn to build a flourishing, Christ-focused women’s ministry.
Welcome to episode number 13, How to Host Great Women’s Ministry Team Meetings.
Today I’ll be answering your question’s about:
- How often should you meet?
- What should you discuss?
- How long should your meetings last?
In episode number 11, we talked about How to Build Your Women’s Ministry Team. Naturally, you’ll have to have team meetings to plan your women’s ministry, events, and activities.
They don’t need to be boring, they don’t need to be super long, and they don’t need to be a waste of time.
How often should you meet?
I’ve been on teams that have met monthly, met weekly when needed, met every other month, and then teams that have really only met when the leader saw a need to meet.
I recommend that you meet monthly.
Before you give me a big thumbs down here on this, listen to my reasons why, please.
- Meeting monthly allows your team to touch base at regular intervals. Unless your church is small, you may not cross paths with other team members very often. Meeting monthly is going to keep your team connected, and it’s going to help you develop relationships with one another.
- Meeting monthly also allows your team to address old and new business. I love using my Post Event Evaluation form to go over events. You can find it for free on my website here. Addressing old business and taking care of the new business takes time. And if we’re not meeting monthly, we might very well forget exactly how that women’s ministry event went or some of the details of it.
- Meeting monthly ensures your ministry is regularly being bathed in prayer.
I also recommend scheduling your team meeting on a set day and time each month, so that team members know to plan accordingly. Don’t forget to take into account women who work and may only be able to meet in the evenings. We want to make sure that meeting time works for the whole team. Once they’ve got it on their calendar, they’re a whole lot less likely to plan something on top of your women’s ministry meeting.
Teams that meet monthly find that there’s a greater unity. They work better together because they know each other well.
What should you discuss when you have these monthly team meetings?
Well, as you heard in a previous episode, I’m a big fan of agendas.
Agendas for women’s ministry team meetings are a little bit different. I hand them out in advance because they give the team time to pray and prepare.
Ideally, I try to have my agenda ready about five to seven days before our women’s ministry team meeting so that if there are questions, they can reach out to me and know what items they need to be prepared to discuss.
Agendas also provide a level of accountability. If it’s written down, it’s much more likely to happen. There’s usually a name attached to each task, so there’s no question on who’s really responsible.
Agendas also keep the discussion on track, minimizing those infamous rabbit trails.
Now, admittedly, they’re probably going to happen anyway, but when you’ve got an agenda in front of you, you can easily point to it and say, “Oh ladies, this would be so much fun to discuss, but I’m going to have to ask that we discuss this after our meeting” or “talk about that at a later time” – whatever it is that you need to do with the topic at hand – “because as you can see on our agenda, we have a lot to cover today.”
Agendas also remind team members of their responsibilities. I like to give each team member a brief opportunity to share an update, specific prayer requests they have, and any needs related to their event or activity that’s coming up.
When you create your agenda, you can organize it by event, organize it by team member, or organize it as a combination of both – do what works best for you. If you’re curious, I will tell you what my ideal agenda looks like.
My Ideal Agenda
- First, we begin with an icebreaker activity because the better we know one another, the better we work together as I mentioned earlier.
- The second thing we would do is have a time of prayer. I’m not just talking about somebody praying and asking God to bless our plans before we get started, but having everyone on the team praying specifically. We will talk more about praying for your women’s ministry in a future episode, but for right now, keep in mind that this should be a group prayer time. Give your women an opportunity to pray out loud together as a group.
- The third thing on my agenda would be a testimony, a teaching, or a mini-training, something in the 10 to 15-minute range. It may be that I found something on the internet that I want us to discuss, or I feel like would be helpful and maybe help us better reach women in our church and in our community. I may ask somebody on the team to share their testimony; that helps us to get to know one another better too.
- The fourth thing would be old business. This would be anything that’s unfinished. Those Post Event Evaluation forms that I mentioned earlier are on my site and also in the Rethinking Women’s Ministry Workbook.
- And then the fifth new business, this is going to be the bulk of your agenda. These would be the upcoming events and activities on our calendar.
- And sixth is action items. Who needs to do what when. It’s really helpful to create a list at the end of your meeting so that everybody is super clear on who’s responsible and when it’s due. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left a meeting and we’ve thought that someone else was responsible for something, but it turns out that maybe they weren’t paying attention or they thought we were talking to somebody else. You want that to be crystal clear, so you know who to follow up with or who to touch base with if you have questions.
- And then the last thing on my ideal agenda would be to close in prayer. That may be a group time of prayer, just depending on how much time is left in your meeting, or it may be that you ask one of the leaders to close in prayer before you all go.
I’ve got a confession to make; sometimes, I get stuck in a rut praying the same prayers over and over for the women in my Bible study and on my team. If you do too, I’ve got good news! I’ve created a free prayer resource for leaders. 21 Prayers for Women in Your Church orSmall Group is free 3-week prayer guide. Each day focuses on a specific Scripture and request for your group’s spiritual growth, including unity, forgiveness, humility, and more. Download this free resource today at www.womensministrytoolbox.com/freebies.
I want to share a couple things to consider when you’re planning your women’s ministry team meetings for bigger events.
You may want to schedule separate special planning meetings, or maybe even separate teams.
Think about things like retreats. Your women’s ministry team can cast the vision – they can pick the date, they can select the speaker, they can choose the theme. They can do those non-negotiable pieces. If you establish a separate team, say for a retreat or conference, that gives other women in your church the opportunity to lead and to serve. They’re invested in it, and they get excited about it. Some women may not be able to serve long-term on your women’s ministry team, but they’re able to serve a short term on an event planning team or retreat team.
During your women’s ministry team meetings, keep in mind that not every detail has to be worked through. Delegate. You don’t have to make a decision on everything if it’s not time-sensitive.
Cast a vision, if you’re the leader, and then let your team members run with it and report back. Resist the urge to micromanage.
I’m talking to myself on this one. I know how tempting it can be to want things to be done a certain way, but God may lead them in a slightly different direction. And chances are, it’s going to be better than you could even have imagined. You can check in with team members between meetings using email or Voxer to see how things are going if you feel the need. That’s not micro-managing; that’s just checking in to make sure that everything is going well. Be careful with the tone of your letter that it’s encouraging and not nosy.
As I was thinking through what to share with you all in this podcast, one memory came flooding back to me of a women’s ministry team meeting, where we spent at minimum 10 minutes, probably more like 20 minutes debating the shade of white the napkins should be at an upcoming event. I wish I could say I was kidding, but I am not. The women that were in charge of the decor, for whatever reason, were struggling. They really could have and should have made that decision on their own, but they wanted input, and it became this long-drawn-out discussion. Still to this day, I don’t remember why the shade of white mattered so much. I think they were trying not to clash with some white things that would be in the backdrop, perhaps, or maybe it had more to do with the color of tablecloths we were using. I really don’t know.
Don’t let your team get bogged down in the weeds; give your team members the authority and the permission to make those kinds of decisions on their own.
At the end of the day, they’re not going to remember what color the napkins were at your event. They’re going to remember if they experienced Jesus.
Now that we’ve covered the content, let’s talk about the length of your team meetings.
You can probably tell by my list of seven things that we’re not going to be able to wrap this up in 45 minutes. Getting in all of those seven agenda items will take time.
My recommendation is that your team meetings last one and a half to two hours.
Can you get all your business done in an hour? Probably, but you’re missing the opportunity to build unity and train your team. It’s not a race. Give God time to work in and a through your team, make your meetings meaningful and make them fun!
On my copy of the agenda, I assign approximate times to each agenda item.
This is just for me; I don’t put this on the copy that I email out. But this helps me to know as we’re working through it if we need to pick up the pace, or if we have time to discuss a topic at further length, or if maybe we even need with table something till the next meeting. I will write beside it we’re going to spend, maybe it’s five minutes, maybe it’s 10 minutes, if it’s a group prayer.
And then for each single item, I’ll jot the time next to it. And I’ll make sure that when I add all those numbers up, we come to our one and a half or two hours. If it’s over or under, then I adjust as needed. That helps me keep things on track and the meeting well-paced.
After your meeting, I strongly encourage you to follow up with a meeting summary or some kind of meeting minutes.
Meeting summaries are important for three reasons.
- They reiterate those important details, the dates, and responsibilities.
- They give clarity. Maybe a team member had to step out of the room, or they may have been distracted or missed part of the discussion.
- It provides a written record. I hope you won’t need those things, but they are so handy to have if a question comes up. They are great when new team members come on board and are asking questions about the way that an event was done in the past, maybe something that you do annually then you can go back to those written minutes and say, “Oh yeah, it did take 10 men to help serve the meal at that event. Or no, we’re not remembering correctly. We really need 15.” If you’ve got those records to look back at, that will help your events run smoother.
Today’s Toolbox Tasks:
- I challenge you to write up an agenda for your next women’s ministry team meeting.
- Send it out to your team at least four days before you meet.
I think you’ll find if you take the time to be intentional about your women’s ministry team meetings, your team is going to function so much better. You’re going to be more united, you’re going to work better together, and you’re going to be able to accomplish a lot more as you seek to reach the women in your church and in your community.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox podcast. Leading in women’s ministry can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! You’ll find support and ideas you can use in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook Group. We’d love for you to join us! Search for us on Facebook or visit womensministrytoolbox.com/groups to access the link. May the grace of God carry you through difficult ministry seasons, may He direct your steps as you seek to make Him known, and may your love for the LORD be apparent to every woman you serve.
You may also want to read:
How to Build a Women’s Ministry Team
How to Recruit Women’s Ministry Team Members
10 Dangers to Running a Women’s Ministry Without a Team
8 Reasons to Develop a Strong Women’s Ministry Team
8 Great Team-Building Icebreakers
How to Get Your Team on the Same Page