I know. I know. Christmas 2019 is just around the corner and there are so many things left to do. From making sure you have enough volunteers to scheduling social media posts to having one last rehearsal, there’s not much space for more to-do’s. This isn’t exactly the best time to add one more thing to your to-do list. But this could be the difference between making the next year better and more efficient and also letting your team know how much you appreciate them.
1) Schedule a post-Christmas meeting
Right now, before everyone’s calendar books up, schedule a meeting with department and volunteer leaders in the month of January. Set aside a few hours. This likely won’t be a fast meeting, but it will be a worthwhile meeting. Explain that it will be a place where everyone can bring up good things, bad things and average things about the Christmas service(s) and planning. This isn’t just a what-went-wrong meeting. This can also be a what-went-right meeting. It’s a chance to give your team a voice to be heard.
2) Encourage leaders to take notes now
As each department keeps planning and preparing, encourage them to take mental or literal notes of what can be done to improve planning for next year. Whether it’s communication or tech issues, everything should be on the table for discussion of improvement. Encourage each leader to talk with their team and see if they have any thoughts on what could be done better or differently or should stay the same. Give people a chance to voice their concerns and encouragement. It goes a long way to making everyone feel a part of a team.
3) Prepare for the meeting
Once Christmas is over and people are back in the swing of everyday life again, send out a reminder about the post-Christmas meeting. Ask them to come to the meeting with one thing to improve on and one thing that was done really well. This helps keep the meeting from going too long and helps keep the meeting morale up.
You might also want to provide some drinks and snacks to help keep people engaged. Nothing draws people in like free food. 😉
4) Have the meeting
When the meeting begins, always start with a huge “Thank you!” It doesn’t matter if someone forgot the slides to one of the Christmas hymns or the communion bread wasn’t ready beforehand, always start your meeting with encouragement. It helps break the ice and lets everyone know that you know that they did their best. God doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He asks us to have willing hearts.
After you’ve given your “Thank you!” speech. Explain the format of the meeting, and start with yourself. Give one really good thing that happened and give one thing that could be improved for next year. Let people know this isn’t a blame game. We’re all in this together. As everyone shares, take good notes that can be easily used for 2020.
When everyone has shared, summarize, review and thank everyone for being there!
And just like that, you have a list that you can use for Christmas 2020 … maybe even a new theme idea or two. The point is to rely on the team around you. You can’t do this alone and your team is there for a reason. They want to help and they want to be a part of the planning process. So let them and see what God can do with your team and open communication.