II. Prayer (Corporate)
III. Praise and Worship (don’t rush this portion, but don’t let it go on forever either)
IV. Solo (Optional)
V. Food and table at the networking (Consider some low-risk-not too personal- icebreakers and activities to get people acquainted).
VII. Call to Action: (What will ladies do with information received from speaker or for the ministry?)
VIII. Prayer Time (Individual time to ponder, pray and reflect on the call to action)
IX. Evaluation of the breakfast (simple one answer assessment to get feedback on your effectiveness)
XI. Ending Prayer
Don’t feel “married” to this agenda. I just mapped it out as a starting place. Feel free to trim or merge functions.
Want to know the truth? I wouldn’t use it myself. I’m a pretty non-traditional person. Being the jeans and tennis shoes kinda gal I am, I find lots of women’s prayer breakfasts to be a weird combination between “boring” and “busy”. But, I’m more of the minority than the majority, so many of my events lean toward the traditional to meet the needs and expectations of my demographic. The above agenda is the typical agenda for most traditional events.
Your program agenda should be a direct pathway to the desired objective of your event. So many events are planned without any regard to a desired result. Just getting people together isn’t really a goal; if it is the goal, it’s a weak one. You can do better than that and accomplish so much more with your prayer breakfast.
Start with Prayer…I mean you.
Pray and ask God what He wants the women’s prayer breakfast to accomplish. He has a way of nudging us toward His plans, so I’ll bet the objectives He wants are already on your heart. If He leads you toward corporate prayer being the only objective, then you follow Him succinctly. You can have additional goals to the make your event richer.
Some other goals/objectives
Need a few ideas?
Great! Here are some outcome ideas for a prayer breakfast:
Networking and getting acquainted with other women in the church
Making new friends or prayer partners (leaving with contact info type of relationship building)
Tools to add depth to one’s prayer life
Recruiting women to other ministries in the church
Building your women’s ministry mailing list
Further, make sure everyone involved (on the agenda) KNOWS the objective(s). If they know the goal, they will be more likely to promote it.
What others can you think of? Put them in the comments to help future readers.
Leave them wanting more
Keep your prayer breakfast agenda simple, focused and strategic. Don’t try to cram too much into it. I lean toward doing less at my events in order to have more impact. The worse thing is attending an event and leaving mentally exhausted. Don’t do that to your ladies.
I’m becoming a fan of different agendas including panels discussing prayer, doing work in small groups at the tables and other types of group activities.
You need various “voices” and points-of-view involved in planning your women’s prayer breakfast. If possible, seek out women of various ages, ethnicities and skills. Their varying perspectives will add wonderful dimension to your event.
If you are the only one on your “team”, reach out to people you know on Facebook, Twitter or even email friends to ask for ideas. Tell them you are soliciting opinions and your buddies may offer some great tips and things to consider.
If you have a formal team, ask them to work together to define the goal/objective.
A great team discussion could begin with:
“What 5 competencies or benefits do we want the ladies to leave with?”
“What do we want them to say to their friends about the event?”
“What should they have done [during the event] before they left? What should they do after?
Record the answers and then for each one, determine what steps your team needs to do to make sure each goal is accomplished during the breakfast.
For instance, if one of your objectives is to help women commit to a prayer life, then brainstorm the barriers to prayer, the solutions to the barriers and a means toward removing those barriers. Maybe you can present the solutions during the event. Maybe your speaker can address them.
If networking is the goal, then discuss what you can do to help participants talk to one another at the event. It could be conversation-starters on the table or even the run-of-the mill icebreakers.
Let’s talk about planning a bit more.
As the leader of the ministry, consider not only the end result (the process) but also the elements of the planning. You want your team to feel comfortable and vested. If they are, they will get more done. Besides efficiency, you care about them and want them to enjoy the planning as much as possible, right?
So, as you are laser-focused on the results (the project), consider the interactions that occur during the planning process.
Keep the meeting tone light, on-point and expeditious. Make good use of everyone’s time. Always allow each one to share something great that happened since you last met. This builds a sense of connection and team.
Don’t think for one minute that the work process (how they get the work done) is not important. People work better with folks they care about and enjoy being around.
This positions them to share more. As they share, go out of your way to affirm every single idea. If the idea won’t work, then gently explain why and see how you can morph the thought into something that will. Be sure to listen. Managing your meetings this way will ensure their relationship to you (and one another) is rooted in respect. Creativity thrives in a respectful environment.
After each meeting, try to have some level of celebration. It could be something as simple as verbal “kudos” or a special treat (like mini-chocolates). It sounds silly, but it will make people smile. It’s also an important part of volunteer management.
What I’ve introduce you to is called the the leadership triangle. This model (process, relationship and results) is adapted from the Facilitative Leadership curriculum. I’m a certified trainer in this research and I love it.
I strongly believe that many systems used in business can [and should] be applied to church functions. Hey, they did the research, why shouldn’t we use it for churches?
What other tips do you have for churches planning women prayer breakfasts?