Planning Steps for Large Group Meetings

Step 1. What are the interests, trends, and issues on your campus? Considering your resources, which of these can you realistically address?

What are the interests, issues and needs within the chapter? Considering your resources, which of these can you realistically address?

Is there any overlap between your two lists, campus and chapter?

Step 2. Recall the vision of your InterVarsity chapter. What specific goals do you have for your chapter this year? Take a look at your work from step 1, and think through the connection between those needs/issues and what you might do to reach your goal. Where is there overlap between needs and goals?

Step 3. Establish a theme for the whole term to provide continuity. Each meeting should fit into the “big picture,” as each chapter contributes to a book.

Step 4. With the previous three steps in mind, begin to identify topics for meetings and place them into a schedule so that there is a flow to the term. Keep in mind that it could be very helpful to make meetings early in the term particularly appealing to freshmen. Keep a balance betwen covering the basics of discipleship and meetings that focus on more complex issues.

Step 5. Develop a statement of objectives for each meeting. Ask yourself “What do we hope to accomplish?” and “How does this meeting fit into the theme and flow of the meetings?” Could you communicate this objective clearly to a guest speaker?

Step 6. What format for the meeting will best communicate the message? Seek variety as appropriate to the topic. The form should not call attention to itself but to the message. Seek a balance of outside speakers and student-led meetings, conventional methods and innovative styles, formal and informal.

Step 7. Write out a detailed plan that includes a list of who will be involved and their responsibilities; an order for the meeting including time allotments; an order for the meeting including time allotments; and set up and equipment needs. Once you’ve written out this plan, make a few checks: (a) Does it seem that this topic and format connect well with the objective? (b) Are you making use of the abilities and gifts in your chapter? © Have you shared the work, giving people tasks which match their talents and not overloading anyone? (d) Do your plans match your time limits? If a segment of your meeting takes more time than you guessed, what do your plan to do to keep your meeting within the time limits you set?

Step 8. Evaluate and revise during the semester. Each meeting should be evaluated by your Large Group Team/Committee with occasional evaluation by your executive committee. Seek suggestions and reactions from newcomers as well as regular attenders. Occasionally use written evaluation forms with a sample from those attending the meeting. Making evaluation an ongoing part of your planning keeps you responsive to feedback and able to improve the quality of your large group meetings.