How to hold a ministry meeting at church

Church MP900405058Sometimes you just have to gather your ministry on your church property for a meeting.  You can’t always head off site for meetings as it breaks the connection between the ministry and your church.  In the previous post we look at holding an off site meeting, so here we will explore a few tips for holding a ministry meeting on your church site.

Each church property has a different combination of church/worship space, chapels, halls, foyers, meeting rooms and office space.  Some church properties have great meeting rooms whilst others have a lack of space that is difficult to deal with.  Some churches have a variety of meeting rooms whilst others just have one large multi purpose room (that never seems to service any event really well). Often we hold meetings on the church property because it will involve a larger group of people than you would invite to a café or your house.  But there are some important things to consider when hosting a ministry meeting at church:

  1. Service or meeting – you have to decide is it a church service or a meeting?  A church service has a liturgical form that may not address the issues that you are meeting about.  Sometimes people get confused if you have to hold a meeting in the main worship space of your church rather than the meeting rooms or hall.  So if you are going to meet in the church or worship space then make it clear that this is a meeting not a church service.
  2. Avoid the pews – it is important that everyone can see each other or see the people presenting the information that the meeting is about.  Church pews are very rigid, especially the ones that are bolted down.  If at all possible find a space where you can move the chairs to help people see each other.
  3. Put out the signs: many church properties are like Fort Knox or a Rabbit warren where it is confusing how to get to the meeting space.  Don’t assume that people know where to go for meetings, put out a sign or some directions.  Many people will head towards the worship space out of habit so direct people to your meeting from there.  If your property is locked up like Fort Knox then put signs on the outside gates telling people where they can get in.
  4. Find the smaller spaces – if you are meeting with 15 people then the 200 seat church may not be the best venue so find a smaller meeting room.  Find the space that suits the size of group that is coming to the meeting, not to small or not to large.  The size of the space can set the tone and atmosphere so choose wisely.
  5. Do you need tables: if you are expecting people to take notes or do some work then you need to provide tables for people.  A board meeting or team training event will work well in a venue with tables and chairs.  However a meeting that is discussion based may be better in an informal space without tables.
  6. Create interaction – sometimes when people come to church they are used to sitting and listening so break this pattern up with interaction.  Have a brainstorm or buzz session where people can throw ideas into the mix of conversation.  If you are talking about a particular issue in your meeting then ask people to turn to their neighbour or form small groups to talk about the issue.
  7. Provide food and drinks – it is important to have a bit of food and a drink at the meeting.  Often people have this as the first part of the meeting whilst people are arriving.  If people have come straight from home where they have had a meal then perhaps hold food and drink until the end.  If your people leave straight after the meeting to go home then have food and drink in the middle as a break.

Don’t be scared of holding a ministry meeting on your church property; it helps build a connection with the physical space.  It is great for people to feel at home on the church property rather than only coming to Church for formal occasions  The more at home people feel on church property the more they are likely to volunteer for ministry in your church.  So next time you have to meet with someone from church consider meeting them on church property rather than in a cafe.

Please leave a comment with your advice

markoffaith, MarkofFaith, Mark of Faith, mark of faith, mrmarkmcdonald, markoffaith.net

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