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.

You’re Not Alone – Children’s Ministry is a Team Effort

Confession Time – I love Nascar! My husband and I look forward to the Sunday afternoon race. When I first started watching Nascar I was focused totally on the drivers. They were the ones in the car driving skillfully, or not; getting caught up in accidents or causing accidents. One man does the work and wins the race. Successes are celebrated by one person and failures are carried by one person.

But I realized pretty quickly that Nascar is not a one-man sport. It is a team effort. Actually, it is a huge team effort. For example, the pit crew trains for 14 seconds of work in which everybody needs to do their job fast, accurately, and still keep their eye out for a teammate who needs a hand. It’s impressive.

childrens ministry teamChildren’s Ministry is a team effort. Sometimes leaders can start to feel like they are all alone; that they are doing the work with little thanks or maybe that there isn’t anyone else who understands or carries the same burden for the children in their church.

But effective children’s ministry happens when a team of people are working towards a single goal, have a passion for making disciples, and understand that each part of the team is important.

An effective children’s ministry team is one in which each member of the team knows their role on the team and works together as a team

So, remember that you are not alone! Value your team, build your team, praise your team, train your team, and let each member have their moment (give credit where credit is due.)

For by the grace given me, I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:3-5