You have a meeting next week!

That’s no surprise to you, I realize. Having served in full-time ministry since I was 18 years old, I’ve attended hundreds (perhaps thousands) of meetings. Elder meetings, deacon meetings, staff meetings, team meetings, training meetings, association meetings, department meetings—we all know the drill.

One thing I’ve tried to study over the years is how I might add more spiritual value to the meetings I lead—something more than the obligatory devotional. We know God works in and through leadership meetings (think of Pentecost, or the Jerusalem Council, or Paul with the Ephesian elders). Meetings can be a rich context for revival, prayer, and even renewed Great Commission strategy!

Here are five ideas to add some fresh spiritual life to your next meeting:

  1. Take time for extended Bible reading.What’s the rush, after all? The Bible is God’s Word to us, and if we are meeting to better lead His people, there’s no harm in taking extended time to listen to His voice together (1 Timothy 4:13). For example, reading the book of Ephesians aloud only takes 30–35 minutes.
  2. Copy a single page of your church directory and pass it around to discuss.For example, you might have time to briefly discuss the needs of 10–15 families in your church, as a group of pastors or elders. After walking through the list, pray for each name, the situations those individuals are facing, the ministries they serve in, etc. This provides a great context to “keep watch” over those entrusted to us (Hebrews 13:17). You also might consider having someone jot an encouragement note to those people in the following week.
  3. Walk through a spiritual evaluation tool together.These tools can foster important spiritual or strategic conversations, and they can provide a context for people to let down their guard a bit. A good option for this might be the “Making It Personal” section near the end of any of our Revive magazines.
  4. Go offsite.When was the last time your team relaxed together, without an agenda to follow (Mark 2:23)? In the long view, I think those “fun” personal moments were more helpful to our church vitality than business-as-usual meetings. Think about it: What might your team love to do together next month?
  5. Try something bold! Unity and fellowship are built when we engage on the front lines of kingdom activity. Could your leadership group dedicate a few hours to volunteer together at a local parachurch ministry? Or head to a nearby campus to survey college students regarding their spiritual opinions? Or break into twos and visit widows in the congregation, then report back later at an ice cream shop? These kinds of hands-on shared experiences can infuse your team with fresh joy and creativity.

As far as it depends on me, I love to make meetings interesting, enjoyable, and worthwhile to participants, so I’m always collecting ideas. How do you facilitate your meetings? What shared experiences have proven to be the most meaningful over the years?

If you have time (before your next meeting), let me know.