7 Tips for the Most Productive Planning Meetings Ever

It’s happened to all of us. You stifle a yawn, check the time, and sigh. This meeting is taking forever! We have all been in meetings that have been too long and too specialized. Planning meetings are important and happen for a variety of reasons in Children’s Ministry. We need planning meetings for VBS, Fall Kick-off, Christmas Pageants, Sunday School, Community events, etc. Here are 7 tips to help you have the most productive planning meetings ever!

Cast your vision at each meeting

Planning meetings often involve the nitty gritty of Children’s Ministry. They are about dates and times and places and volunteers. It is all too easy to get bogged down in detail And what ends up happening is the team being unable to see the forest for the trees.


Kids who personally know, genuinely love, and passionately obey God.

Remind your team of the bigger picture at every planning meeting. Lift them up out of the bog of detail with your vision for the children in your ministry. It is so encouraging and invigorating to hear how the event they are planning will help to fulfill your vision for the kids they serve.

Kids who love God with all their heart and desire to grow in him more.

A vision statement is a single sentence description of what you want your kids to be like when they leave your children’s ministry. A vision is important because it gives all your children’s ministry volunteers something to work towards. When a volunteer feels mired down in details, your vision statement will help them to see beyond the present frustrations. Knowing that there is a bigger picture will motivate your volunteers.

So, take a few minutes at the beginning of each planning meeting to cast your vision.

Only Call Necessary Meetings

You may, in the past, have had monthly/weekly meetings to prepare for big events like VBS. People expect them and you call them simply because that is how it has always been done. Let me encourage you to rethink how you call planning meetings. Instead of having a weekly meeting just because you always have, only call necessary meetings. Your team will appreciate the fact that you are respecting their time.

Have a clear purpose for each meeting

This tip goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Know what you want to accomplish in the meeting and as a result of the meeting. Make sure everyone at the meeting knows ahead of time or right from the beginning what the purpose of the meeting is. This allows to you stay on track and keep all participants on track as well.

Respect People’s Time

We have all been at meetings that seem to drag on and on. Have a deadline for your meeting and stick to it. Let your team know how long the meeting will be when you schedule it and then do everything you can to keep it to that time period. When your team knows that one hour meetings are actually one hour meetings, they will be more likely to show up prepared and ready to participate.

Only invite those who need to be there

These tips are all interconnected. Once you know the purpose of your meeting, you will know who you need to invite to that meeting. You don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, so let the team know ahead of time that everyone is valuable and important to the team; you also respect everyone ‘s time so there will be meetings that not everyone is invited to. Only invite those people who need to be there.

Every person there should leave the meeting with an action list

The best way to ensure a productive meeting is to give every person a to-do list. This, again, is connected to knowing the purpose of the meeting.and only inviting those who need to be there. Every person at the meeting should leave with an action list as a result of the meeting. They should have at least one item they need to accomplish before the next meeting.

Make it fun

Finally, make your meetings fun! Plan a brief ice-breaker game if it’s the first time a team is meeting together. Play fun get-to-know-each-other games. Serve coffee or cold beverages. Encourage a fun, relaxed atmosphere. People will be more productive.

How to Schedule Your Day When It Feels Like You Have Too Much to Do and Not Enough Time

Overworked businessman.There is always something to do in Children’s Ministry. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. But there are a few simple things you can do to schedule your day and help you wrest back control of your time and your responsibilities.

Plan Out Your Day

The last thing you should do at the office before you go home is plan out the next day. What responsibilities do you have; what phone calls do you need to make; what meetings do you have scheduled; what projects do you need to work on.

Taking the time to plan is really important, especially when you feel you don’t have the time. It is all too easy to get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent. But if you take some time to plan your day, your week, your month, and your year, you will find yourself being more productive and less overwhelmed. Don’t feel guilty taking a day or two to plan for the upcoming year. Take 10 minutes on a Friday to plan for the upcoming week. Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to play for the next day. It is time well spent.

Figure Out When You’re the Most Productive and Then Make the Best Use of That Time Slot

My husband has figured out that he is most productive in the mornings and so he has been getting up at 6am to work. His productivity has skyrocketed. If I got up at 6am to work, I would spend hours staring blankly at my computer screen wishing I was still in bed. Everybody’s different, but everybody has a peak productivity period during the day. Figure out when yours is and make the best use of it.

Use your peak productivity period for creative work, for long-term planning, vision casting, and completing projects. Save phone calls, emails, filing, etc. for the rest of your day.

Prioritize Your Tasks

You know what needs to be done in your day and you know when your most productive time is, now prioritize what you need to do. Prioritize what needs to be done during your peak productivity period and prioritize what needs to be done outside of that block of productivity.

Figure out what the most important thing is and do that first. Then move on to the next most important or time-sensitive thing on your list. We can’t always tell how much time it will take to complete certain tasks, so do the most important or time-sensitive tasks first.

 

Plan out your day ahead of time, figure out when you are most productive, and then prioritize your tasks. These three tips will help you to schedule your day.

New Year Resolutions

It’s a New Year! Have you made any resolutions? Children's Ministry Planning

People make personal resolutions at the beginning of a new year.

Children’s ministry leaders can take the opportunity to make ministry resolutions as well.

Do you have goals for the kids in your ministry? Now is the time to start planning. It is so important to take some time and plan out what you want kids to learn this year and in the years to come. Without a plan you end up with haphazard learning.

Take a few hours and look at the curriculum you are using for this year and the next few years. Does it have a clear scope and sequence?

Does it clearly show what is going to be taught and what order it’s going to be taught in?

Scope is the extent of content to be covered in a curriculum at any one time. That could mean one week, one year, or the whole of a child’s life. Sequence means the order in which this content will be presented over time.

How easy is it for you to see what the kids will be learning over the next months and years? Is there order and context?

Whatever format your curriculum takes, it’s important for you to have a plan for using it. Any good plan will include goals.

Goals are important because they give you something to work towards and a means of measuring success.

The ultimate goal in children’s ministry is to make disciples. In order to reach that goal, you need to take some time now to plan out the year and the next few years. What are the kids going to be taught and when are the kids going to be taught it?

Take some time at the beginning of the year to plan out your curriculum.