How to Run a Youth Leadership Meeting

… or at least how I like to run them.

One of the (many, many) things that I picked up from reading Mark Yaconelli’s Contemplative Youth Ministry is the idea of hosting your Youth Ministry’s Leadership Team as more of a body, a family, than as a board. In the past, I have come at Leadership Team meetings as board meetings, with a clear-cut agenda to plow through, fighting complacency and lethargy all the way. Tonight we held our first meeting of H20’s Leadership Team to plot out the path of the ministry over the next several months, so allow me to let you listen in on how the evening transpired through the completely uncreative method of bullet point statements!

  • Start with Prayer – No matter what you are doing in ministry, it really should be bathed in prayer from the beginning. NO MATTER WHAT.
  • Be open to Creative Options – Start your meeting by lighting a candle for everyone to focus on, and play a song in the background to really drive some prayerful thoughts home. A couple of my favorites are David Crowder’s “Come and Listen” which is a really great call for us to focus our hearts on who God is and what He has done, and Crowder’s “All I Can Say” which drives the point home that we really cannot offer anything on our own and truly need God.
  • Spend some time Catching Up – Open the floor for the group to share what is going on in each other’s lives. We cannot truly function as a body unless we know what is going on in the life of the body. Plus it gives adults in ministry together a chance to get to know each other on an adult level, instead of passing everything through “teenage filters.”
  • Let the Spirit Lead – Don’t be afraid to go off-script. True, there needs to be some solid leading as to what is discussed, but let the Spirit change things up if the discussion leads away from the agenda and is relevant to your ministry. For example, tonight I spent about 20 minutes off-script on MySpace.
  • Include Fun Treats for Your Volunteers – Don’t be afraid to pop in a totally random funny video. Most anything can be applied to Youth Ministry (when done right), especially if you can find the “Cat Herder” Youth Ministry Video. (thanks to Tim for hooking me up with this video).
  • Make It Comfortable – Don’t hold your meetings in a board room (if you can help it). Host the meeting in a leader’s home, or in the Youth Room. Arrange the furniture so that everyone is looking at each other. Use pillows, couches, lower lighting. Think living room atmosphere, which should be especially conducive to sharing with one another.

That’s my thoughts. Did I miss anything?