Jump directly to the Content

Making the Most of Meetings

What happens in a meeting is decided before the meeting, by the process.
— John Maxwell

Two weeks before beginning a pastorate in Lancaster, Ohio, I attended my new church's business meeting. The outgoing pastor had informed me the church would be voting on a hot issue: whether to build an activity building. So I drove to Lancaster, slipped into the church after the meeting had begun, and went upstairs to the balcony to watch.

What I saw depressed me. Christians fought and yelled like children. The ruckus began when a man named Bill, a well-known saboteur of church business meetings, stood and used a familiar ploy. He raised a procedural question that the pastor didn't know how to handle. Bill then rattled off chapter and verse from Robert's Rules of Order and before sitting down intoned, "I hope the rest of this meeting can be run more competently."

That parliamentary move set the tone for a four-hour meeting that felt more like a beating.

Meetings bring out the best — and worst — in us. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Tags:
Posted:
July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
We aren’t all equally afraid of the same things. But Scripture’s wisdom can apply to all of us.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close