Good Meetings03 Apr 2012
Meetings are often longer than planned. Minor tasks sometimes take hours to accomplish. I will tell my wife that I will be done in an hour; three hours later I am texting her informing her that I am on my way home. Business leaders have written books about the inefficiency of meetings encouraging leaders to nix the get-togethers. While I understand the frustration of discussing unrelated and insignificant details, I am sure that meetings are essential.
In a meeting last week, we gathered to draft a job description for an Associate Pastor. I arrived with a draft in hand. It seemed that we could iron out details in a relatively concise period of time. However it was no small feat. We explored issues of leadership style, team ministry and the importance of empowering the body of Christ to be the church. While little changed in the final job description, the team was empowered to critically consider what it means to function as the church. A shift in church culture occurred.
I don’t think this would be possible through email or phone calls. We needed to meet face to face. We did not plan on discussing all the issues raised. Yet the Spirit led our conversation in the appropriate direction. We left with a finished job description, but we exited the room with much more. We were unified in our direction; we had wrestled with larger issues. The Holy Spirit was active in our conversation. We did not simply conduct business; we met with God.
Business leadership books about conducting meetings do not address this dynamic. Certainly we can gain insight from such material. Yet we must be careful not to dismiss the movement of the Spirit by adhering to tight agendas. Was our gathering a good meeting? No doubt. Was it efficient? Probably not. Was the church strengthened as a result of our gathering? I believe it was.