The Best Recipe Ever!

The Best Recipe Ever? Ingredients for successful leader’s meetings.

My family migrated to Australia from England when I was 7 years old. Some of my most powerful memories of England were connected to my Nana. She was a fun, warm lady who loved to bake.  One treat she used to bake was simply called ‘crunch’. I loved it and a few years after she died I contacted my aunt to see if I could get the recipe. It was very carefully written down, all ingredients and each step to take and then emailed to me. I very excitedly got to work and successfully baked my own ‘crunch’. It is the best recipe ever!

I wish I could give you a similar recipe and process for successful small group leadership meetings. Just add together a cup of prayer, ¾ cup of vision and inspiration, a pinch of laughter, 3 tablespoons of bible reflection, stir together for a while and you’re done! Perfect results every time.

We all know it is not that easy. However, my hope is that the following ideas might spark your imagination, present a new thought, remind you of an ingredient you used to use, or simply provide a ‘leaders meeting recipe’ starting point.

Clear purpose

Why are you gathering your leaders? What do you want to achieve? What can you realistically get done in the time frame? Have you considered what your leaders need? As small group point people we are sometimes so focused on the ‘act’ of gathering our leaders that we forget to ask what will benefit leaders. If we can tap into their needs, this will make a more balanced ‘meeting recipe’. Give them a list of possible ‘meeting ingredients’ and get some feedback.

Jim Elgi notes that “the most common mistake that churches make with their leadership team meetings is making them heavy on training. Training, however, is not the want of most leaders. What they want isn’t intensive training but a chance to receive prayer, personal ministry and fresh vision. “

Share the involvement

Ask one or more of your leaders to present a segment at the leaders meeting. Get them involved. It is amazing how much we grow when we have to do some preparation to present to others, particularly our peers.

 Have fun, celebrate add some food!

Celebrate by sharing stories from your group/s(but please respect confidentiality!)

If you can find or create a fun activity which enforces a teaching point/small group value this will be a fantastic ‘meeting ingredient’. Teaching point: importance of accepting others where they are at. You could have a fun relay where people have to wear shoes that don’t fit, then unpack the leanings of not knowing what it is like in other people’s shoes!

 Have some ground rules

What is expected in your meeting?

Technology -are phones and other devices a helpful ingredient for your meeting?

Start and finish times – essential to keep this on track!

Interaction and discussion – Getting the balance right is sometimes difficult, particularly when someone focuses on a disconnected subject. Have you ever tried the successful meeting ingredient called “The Parking Lot”? It is a ground rule which can help meetings stay focused, but also acknowledges the ‘off topic point’ which can be ‘parked’ for a future meeting.

Time for personal interaction/sharing/prayer

If you have a large leaders meeting this could be done in small groups (3-4)

  • How have you felt encouraged recently?
  • Is there something you’re which is challenging?
  • How are you finding being a leader in the group?
  • How can I pray for you?

I know that there is MUCH more that could be added to this ingredient list, but my prayer is that these ideas have sparked your imagination, given you a springboard for a new creative approach, encouraged you to ‘tweak’ or recreate your leader’s meetings. I would certainly love to hear about your best ‘meeting recipe’ ever!


Tracey is a small group enthusiast! She is also a SGN Huddle leader in Melbourne Australia.

Contact details:


  • Tracey Ware

    Tracey has a heart and passion for small group ministry which goes back to her teenage years. It was in a small group that she was mentored, challenged and encouraged in her Christian walk. She believes that small groups have amazing (often unleashed) potential to impact not only the local church but our world! ?Tracey is an ordained pastor and has had many years’ experience in small group ministry in both NSW and Victoria – (Australia). She is currently the Pastor for Life Groups at Syndal Baptist Church. She was a guest presenter at the Twelve Conference in April 2015, and also established the first SGN Huddle in Australia in Sept 2015. (Melbourne VIC). Tracey is married to David and has two young adult sons.

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