Posted by Tiffany Cooper
Meetings. They happen every single day of the week all around the world. Some people cringe at the thought of a “meeting” and others get warm fuzzies thinking about gathering to deliberate and eat. After all, the greatest meetings have yummy food!
As a woman in ministry, I’m sure you’ve participated in your share of meetings or listened to your husband’s recap of his own. Not only do the greatest meetings have yummy food, they also have a clear purpose and a specific end goal. They make the organization better.
The JustONE Virtual Conference is like our all-inclusive “family” meeting. We meet together for 4 consecutive weeks to hear from women who share our same heartbeat for life and ministry. Are we encouraged? Yes! Are we challenged? Absolutely! Are we sometimes lovingly corrected? Thankfully, yes! Our purpose and goal is being “virtually” accomplished.
My favorite meeting happened this week, the Cooper Family meeting. The purpose was to review our families’ responsibilities and goals, which had lost consistency over the last month. We challenged our kids to refocus attention on how they are treating one another, to speak and act in love. We corrected behaviors that were displeasing. Most of all, we laughed! My heart felt like it could burst from the love I felt in that moment. Family meetings not only improve our function and focus as a family, they deepen our bond.
We can be guilty of having meetings for everything but our families. Today I encourage you to set aside time to have a family meeting. They don’t have to be long; our Tuesday meeting was only 20 minutes.
How to prepare for your family meeting:
- Plan ahead & write it on the calendar. If you don’t, it probably won’t happen.
- Prepare any materials that may help reinforce your discussion. I print out our responsibility chart so my kids can see it while we’re talking.
- Have something yummy or special to enjoy while you’re meeting.
- Set the tone. Let them know that your family meeting is important and valued in your home. Stay focused, be firm when necessary and speak in love with understanding.
- End on an encouraging note.
Some topic suggestions: (You can alter these if you don’t have kids in the home or if you’re single)
- Praise your kids for what they are doing well.
- Challenge them. Correct them if needed. Discuss areas you would like to see improvement. Present a plan to accomplish your family’s goals. Revisit the plan throughout the year to keep everyone focused.
- Ask your kids about what is happening in their lives, the positive and negative. Inquire about areas you can help them more. Let them know that you are their biggest supporters.
- Ask them about their dreams. This will help you to know how to encourage and guide them. Encourage*Encourage*Encourage!
- Don’t just talk it, walk it! It doesn’t matter how great your family plan is if you don’t live it yourself. Your words are just a dream if your actions don’t scream integrity. The goal is for your talk to reinforce what you already walk, that’s power.
Let’s converse! Did you grow up with family goals? Family plans? Do you have goals for your family? How do you communicate these goals to your kids? How do you keep the goals in focus in your life?