By Mark Satterfield
Early in my ministry leadership, I was responsible for several life groups and met one-on-one with those leaders. I quickly realized I was not in control of these meetings. The various feedback and input I received did not match up with my goals for the meeting time. A valuable lesson for me was to create a framework for those meetings so that each person was on my playbook.
To have effective one-on-one meetings with those who report directly to you, you should establish a framework as well. Share the framework so they know what will be covered and how to prepare, and ask them to send their responses in advance so you can prepare as well. Doing so will make your meeting times efficient and effective.
I also suggest you send a calendar invite in advance for how often you want to meet one-on-one with your leaders. For me, these meetings happen once a month. This gives my leaders time to work through and follow up on what we’ve previously discussed.
Components of One-on-One Meetings
Start off your meeting time with prayer. Ask how you can pray for them, for their family, and for their ministry.
2. Personal update
Ask how they’re doing. Ask about their husband or wife and family. Ask what they’re enjoying about their ministry. Show that you care about this individual and invest in them on a personal level.
3. Overall ministry update
This is a high-level overview of what’s going on in their ministry area.
4. Momentum and opportunities
Start with the positive. Where is God at work? Where is there momentum? Where do you see opportunities? Capitalize on the great things that are happening in their ministry.
5. Three challenges
Ministry comes with many challenges, but help your leader to focus on the three biggest challenges they’re currently facing. Because you’ve received this information in advance, you can start thinking through how to address these issues.
6. How can I help?
What’s the most important problem you can help your leaders solve? Just like leaders can’t overcome all ministry challenges at once, you likely can’t solve all their problems at once. Ask them to focus on the most important thing you can do to further their ministry. Following through on this help establishes and deepens trust with your direct reports.
For additional meeting tips and downloadable templates, check out Mark’s Leading Church Staff courses on Ministry Grid.