As we continue our series on how you can start your own Women’s Ministry Council for your community, we tackle the topic of meeting agendas today. Over the last five years we have tweaked the format through our experiences and feedback from the attendees.
I believe in honoring people’s time, and therefore I tend to pack schedules from start to finish. If there is time being wasted, I worry that I am not being a good steward of other people’s time. Our early Women’s Ministry Council meetings would have 3 speakers over the course of the two hours. We would allow a short time for women to get their refreshments, announcements would be made, three topics would be presented, and in the middle somewhere would be a restroom break. My thinking at the time was that the ladies could fellowship after the meeting.
Every so often, we provide a link to an anonymous survey to those who attend to provide feedback. Repeatedly there would be a request to have time for fellowship to get to know one another better. Ultimately, we dropped one speaker/topic and made room for fellowship time. Even then, we still had tweaking to do in order to discover what is just the right amount of fellowship time. From what we have learned, we recommend no more than twenty minutes.
An average meeting now, looks something like this:
9:30am start time – people arrive, get their refreshments, we quickly pray over the food, and allow them to fellowship.
9:50 meeting officially begins. We have about 10 minutes of announcements.
10:00 the first speaker presents topic
10:30 restroom / beverage refill break
10:40 (or 10:45 if there is a larger group) the second speaker presents topic
11:10 (11:15) we have our closing words, additional reminders, pray the women out, etc.
11:30 the meeting ends
There have been deviations to this schedule. We have allotted 1 entire meeting to specific training on certain topics. We have had speaker presentations that are shorter, and allotted for an additional speaker. Things are flexible enough that we make adjustments from meeting to meeting as needed.
When we have a community group or ministry present, usually we give them about 10 to 15 minutes. This can be slid in at the end during our closing segment. Or, we may shorten the speakers time down to 25 minutes instead of 30. This creates a 10 minute buffer that we can add to the community groups and ministries. I have found that most of these groups do not need a significant amount of time to present.