Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The Monthly Calendar Meeting

We’re over the halfway point discussing effective planning in Student Ministry. Certainly, the objective is never to overplan and therefore eliminate an opportunity for the Spirit to move; rather, we want to give the Spirit opportunity to move by being intentional about everything we do with our students. In the past few posts I discussed the first three phases: the 5-year plan, the 1-3 year plan, and the annual planning session. Today, I’ll discuss the monthly calendar meeting.

Phase 4: The Monthly Calendar Meeting

As I outlined before, the first 2 phases of this planning model focus on strategy. The last 3 phases focus on the tactical side of it. The annual planning session is designed to lay out at a hight level everything that will be done in the coming year. Of course, it’s impossible to do detailed planning for all of your events in that type of meeting, so it requires additional planning to get into the specific details of your event. We do that through monthly calendar meetings.

The #1 objective, for me, is not to make the meeting too painful. Let’s face it – this whole process involves A LOT of meetings. If the meetings are long a laborious, you’ll accomplish less and less, and eventually people find reasons not to attend them. If you are working with a staff, it’s a good idea to open with prayer, then discuss a student ministry topic. As youth workers we don’t take much time to “sharpen the saw,” so these discussions can be very energizing. Spend about 15 minutes in this area, if you can.

Next it’s the actual business part of the meeting. In our ministry, we are instituting monthly reports. This will be a way that the staff can keep me updated on things they are working on without taking up meeting time. After collecting the reports, we’ll take a look at the calendar items we have for the next 90 days.

We’ll do some initial brainstorming on things that are 3 months out. This gives us a head start. We come to a consensus around which ideas we will pursue, and then assign tasks. For example, if we’ve scheduled a community service event, we’ll talk about possible approaches and venues. If we decide to feed the homeless, we’ll assign out planning the menu, contacting shelters, etc.

For events that are 2 months out, we’ll talk about our progress. We’ll adjust plans based on any barriers that have come up. We’ll also start promoting the event at this point. For example, working off the same example, at this point we’ve determined a location for the community service event, and we’ve settled on a menu. We’ll decide the final logistics and begin announcing the event at Youth Service, through social media, etc.

Once we get to the items that are 1 month out, all that should be left to do for those items are to make any last-minute adjustments and tie up any lose ends. For example, for the community service event we’ve been discussing, we may need to double check to make sure the vans are still available, feel out what our participation level will be, grab a few extra chaperones if we need them, etc.

This process works pretty smoothly as long as everyone is keeping up with their assignments. How do we make sure that’s happening, though? Check in Monday to find out!

2 thoughts on “Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The Monthly Calendar Meeting

  1. Pingback: Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The Stand-Up Meeting | Mashed Potatoes

  2. Pingback: Cruel Intentions « FOCUSonSTUDENTS

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