Same bat time. Same bat channel.

Do you ever feel that way when you’re planning a meeting for your leadership team? Been there, done that, nothing new to say.

You don’t have to struggle with those meetings anymore! It’s time to put your team through the PACES. I used to struggle coming up with new and engaging meetings for my leadership team. I started using this acronym to help in the planning process and I found one of the most valuable tools I have ever used in leadership development.

Praise & Accolades—Youth pastors might know better than anyone else how thankless youth ministry can be. Always start your team time with some props—some “atta boys” and “way-to-go girls.” Your team needs to know what they’re doing right. And more than that, they need to know you noticed them doing it!

Accountability—All of us have certain expectations of our leadership. Hopefully, we’ve outlined those expectations for them before they joined the team. Part of sharpening one another is holding one another accountable to those expectations. “Commit to what you’ve committed to.” I ask my workers about contacts they’ve made with kids, how much time they’re spending in study, how their personal time with the Lord is growing…all commitments they made when they joined our team.

Calendar—What’s coming up—and what responsibility do your leaders bear in that event? What’s happening in the church body as a whole—things your team might not be aware of because they spend a lot of their time with the teenagers? Informed leaders are happy leaders.

Education—Help your team understand the culture they’re on mission to! Sometimes that education will directly relate to upcoming youth studies or events. Sometimes it’ll just be random, “did-you-know-this-about-teenagers” kind of stuff. Missionaries have better success in reaching people when they understand the culture they work within.

Scripture & Supplication—Listen, there’s a good chance that your team members are sacrificing their opportunities to be involved in a small group or Bible study because they’re serving alongside you in the youth ministry. When you have the opportunity to meet with them, remind them they’re their own small group. Give some time for shared life—shared joy, shared pain, shared scripture. Pray for one another. Build team that extends beyond their service and beyond the youth ministry.

…but wait a minute. Isn’t this a little like “same bat time; same bat channel?” Aren’t you just doing the same meeting over and over again? Sure you are, but you kept tuning in to that show, right? The show was predictable, but in an exciting and entertaining way. It was dependable, but engaging. It was funny, but serious. Your team-building time can be that, too. And you don’t even need a cave, a butler, and a bunch of cool gadgets.

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