We’ve noted that a healthy church board, committee, or ministry team exercises Body Life. But, how far do you take that? At what point might building relationships get in the way of fulfilling your agenda?
Two points to consider when weighing agendas versus relationships:
1) Boards, committees, and ministry teams are made up of people who come with personal needs and concerns.
2) Boards, committees, and ministry teams who care for one another tend to cooperate with one another better.
In light of these realities, relational investment could, in the end, benefit the advancement of the group’s agenda.
Balancing Agendas Versus Relationships:
First, make sure to get to know one another.
- Possibly schedule in some community building time. You could start by asking a different person to give their testimony each time you meet. Or, you could ask if anyone has any personal prayer requests. You could do a circle response wherein each person gives a one word, phrase or sentence recap of their week. The relational time built into the schedule does not need to be lengthy to start the process of getting to know one another.
- Take time to pray together in a way that allows people to bear their hearts before God.
- Consider if it is possible to make the setting less formal so people feel more comfortable relating with one another.
- Remember that laughing together can relieve tension and discomfort in a group.
- Allow for people to use time before and after the meeting to fellowship with one another. If you arrive late or at the last minute to open the doors, or immediately leave at the end of a meetings, you will hamper these possibilities.
- Do something as a group. At minimum you might enjoy a meal together before, during, or after the meeting.
Second, understand the responsibility of the chairperson or group’s leader.
- There may be times to set aside the agenda to meet needs of group members, but if meetings almost always go that way, the group lacks leadership.
- Caring for the needs of group members does not have to happen within scheduled meetings but might require an investment into the person’s life outside of meeting times. A leader must know when it is appropriate or needful to divert from the agenda and when the group needs to be brought back on point.
Third, remember that consideration is a way to show you care.
- Schedule meetings when it would be most convenient for people.
- Guard the length of the meeting. Extending past the scheduled time should be a rare occasion and for a good reason.
- Come prepared with an agenda that you have distributed to members in advance and keep moving through it. Yet, don’t be so rigid that you stifle the Spirit or Body Life. Table items that can be delayed if running out of time. Do not fluster people by rushing through items that need time. Do not frustrate people by tabling items for which they have invested advance preparation.