So today our whole student ministry team is getting together to talk about the fall. Not the Genesis 3 fall, but the fall season for this up and coming school year. This is a time where we will come together and talk about sermon series, events, fun items, fall kick off, videos, etc. Basically we are putting things on the calendar so we can begin to think and plan towards this new school year and be ready to take it on while in the midst of a crazy, busy, fun summer. Here are some thoughts on keeping your fall planning spicy and fun:

Everything is off the table – One of the rules we have coming into this planning meeting is that everything is off the table. Meaning, anything and everything we have ever done is not an option to do this fall. Any series, any event, any video is not allowed. This for sure spices some things up a bit because sometimes we love to get in a habit. We love to be repetitive. Sometimes repetitiveness kills creativity. Now this does not mean we won’t do something if we have done it before, I just want to make sure we just do just to do it and we have some fresh ideas come to the table because something might be better. 

Do a meal crawl- We are taking the whole day for planning. A whole day in one place can be draining. So we will spend our morning at a local, good (key word is good) coffee shop and have breakfast. We will go to lunch and continue planning at our favorite local pizza place (where some of our volunteers and students work) and then we will end the day at a very generous family’s house where we will finalize the calendar with a big cannon ball in their ridiculous pool. We will be planning, thinking, praying through everything all day but we will be alive and well and keeping the blood and caffeine flowing. 

Give people enough time to think- If you are anything like me, I’m not my most creative when put on the spot. I think people think best when they have some time to sit, think and ponder on things. When they let it stew a bit. So send out an email with the agenda of the day and what you expect to come out of the meeting with at least a week before you actually meet. This way, everything is coming prepared for the meetings with ideas already. Will ideas come on the spot? Absolutely. But at least everyone is coming to the table with something.

Make it fun – Besides the different locations and different foods we will be involving in planning, we will also be rewarding the best idea. Our team will vote on the best idea of the day and the winner will get a gift card to Starbucks as a little gesture of fun and inspiration to move our planning for the fall forward. I don’t know what you would want to add, I’m sure there is a lot of different things, but just making it fun will help ideas keep flowing and the team happy and engaged. 

Planning meetings don’t have to be boring. Spice it up a little bit. Make it fun. Make it engaging. What do you do for your big planning meetings? How do you spice it up?