How Often and How Long?

Two important considerations are the size of the chapter and the available leadership. Smaller fellowships will have more natural social and relational ties so that planned chapter gatherings are not as vital to the cohesiveness of the chapter. Also, there is the danger of organizational overload, if the same few leaders are doing everything. Better to have monthly meetings with a high level of quality and consistent attendance than weekly meetings thrown together by overworked leaders resulting in irregular attendance and burn out of leaders.

Most larger, established chapters will find that their needs will be best met by weekly large group meetings.

The goal of weekly meetings is desirable for two reasons:

1. The needs of a growing chapter will require it.

2. The continuity principle (e.g., every Thursday night at 7:30 PM is InterVarsity night).


Most groups have found 75-90 minutes to be optimum for the length of chapter meetings. Generally, after 90 minutes the meeting will begin to drag and students will get restless. With less than 75 minutes the meeting may seem crammed. Many commuter schools find that one hour (or even 50 minutes) between classes is the best time available for their meetings.

10 Min. – worship 20 Min. – worship
5 Min. – sharing information 20 Min. – chapter sharing
30 Min. – main teaching block 40 Min. – main teaching block
5 Min. – response and close 10 Min. – response and close

The commuter school with limited time may want to supplement these meetings with monthly evening fellowship meetings.