The objective is to get every member of the board, committee, or ministry team contributing. So often in committees only a small proportion of the members regularly provide input. We consequently receive only a few perspectives which could skew understanding of the best course to follow. We work with the ideas presented by only these members which could limit our options and hamper creativity.
If we truly believe in God’s design for everybody to have a part (Eph. 4:16) … Body Life … then we must build structures or means into the way committees, boards, or ministry teams function to help ensure the greatest level of participation. We must seek out and welcome diversity.
Vary the approach in how you pursue people’s contributions. Be creative to allow for more people contributing.
- Have them write down an idea and put it in a container to be read by the leader anonymously.
- Break into smaller groups with each group discussing an aspect of an issue and then come back together with a spokesperson sharing their conclusions to pull it all together.
- Do a circle response wherein you go around the room and have each person give a suggestion before any additional input can be given. Limit it to either one word, a phrase, or sentence.
- When brainstorming have a stated rule that after a person contributes they must wait a turn (or two) before they share again to give others opportunity.
Some groups will have minimal problems with people contributing but others need to seriously work at it. These are groups with people who tend to monopolize or those who are withdrawn.