Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Death by meeting

I spend a significant part of my life pouring into other ministries, pastors, and leaders. I have a list of men that I regularly contact and check in on. I love giving my life away to other ministry leaders across America. My inbox is regularly laced with conversations regarding leading and serving. 

One of the many things I am quickly realizing is there is a lot of discussion in churches but not as much action in many areas of ministries. 

I often ask this question "what is the last real movement of God in your church?" Or "where is God at work in an obvious way?" The answer to that question is critical because it reveals if it is God at work or man at work. Often there is this blank stare, or  awkward silence on the other end of the phone when that question is asked.

Here is what I have learned after many years of leading a ministry, "meetings for meeting sake can be the death to an organization." Let me explain.

* Meetings can quickly be disguised as actually doing something... it keeps us from doing it and fills our schedules with more time to hash it out when we could be living it out.
* Meetings have far too much parliamentary items in them... the speed, pace, and process by which something can actually happen can cause you to miss the movement of God. By the time you meet the second Thursday of the 3rd week the season for opportunity is gone.
* Meetings happen just because it is that time of the month... How many hours are wasted because "we always meet this time" 
* Meetings should never happen in the evening for church leaders... when an evening meeting is scheduled after a full day of work, men are tired and grumpy and there is no end in sight for the closing of that meeting because men don't have to sleep :) ... morning meetings are much better, men are awake and there is an end time to the meeting because they have to get to work.
* Meetings move way too slowly because the leader lets too much verbal appendix take place... great leaders appoint the actions at hand and then before the meeting is over hand out assignments so that they don't have to come up as old news in the next meeting. 
* Meetings stall with a man name Robert... by the way how in the world does a man who has been dead for years have so much influence in meetings. There are simpler ways for procedure and much quicker ways to make decisions. I wonder how Jesus did it without Robert's Rules?
* Meetings can be the death of an idea... especially when the wrong people are at the table... Bill Hybels said far too many meetings have the wrong people at the table...
* Meetings can be more about  the man, than Jesus... How many meetings have you been in where you stop and ask the Holy Spirit to answer you? Way too often the answer comes from the wrong sources
* A committee is actually the name for a group of buzzards... So when a committee meets it is gathering to die

Way too many ministries are on their way to death because they have somehow convinced people that their meeting is really changing the world when in reality it  is the process to a slow death of that ministry.

Just so you know, I do call meetings, but I do not meet just to meet. And when we do meet there is a rapid pace with everyone getting opportunity to give feedback and then we strive to hand out assignments before the meeting ends. Otherwise, we are back next month hashing up old business. 

I have been forced to sit in meetings in other places where the hair on my neck was curling up because decisions were not being made and way too much information was being repeated over and over when a vote should have been made. That's my two cents... I gotta run to a meeting :)

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