By Michael C. Mack
What’s the most important element on your meeting agenda? People! If you make it a priority to build genuine relationships with your group, class, or team, you’ll find your meetings will be more efficient and successful. Here are five practical ideas:
• Don’t plan to start on time. If you open your meetings with an agenda item or Bible study questions, you’re prioritizing program over people. Plan on a casual start to your group by asking people about their day or week.
• Include food! Food seems to break down walls of resistance. Eating with your group around a table helps to build a tight-knit community.
• End on time, but don’t end on time. Be sure to finish the “official meeting” with time left over for group members to hang around and enjoy each other’s company.
• Plan for fun. Set aside the agenda one night and enjoy a potluck, or grill burgers, or have a game night. Go bowling. Hang out at the park. Hold a chili cook-off. Just be sure to plan it during the time you normally gather, since group members have prioritized that time each week.
• Plan other activities. Go on a camping trip or to the lake. Go out to eat on Sunday after church. Pick a random Friday night and have a girls’ night out. If you have children, ask the dads to take care of the kids that night. Then switch the next week and ask the moms to watch the kids for a dads’ night out.