Christians love to get together for meeting. If I am not careful, my calendar can get chocked full of meetings while “real” ministry goes undone. Sure, meetings can be good. But why do we have to have so many meetings? Sometimes I think ministries have meetings because people think that is just what ministries are supposed to do. Sure, there are times to meet. There are seasons and times for everything. Leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum. But many of the Christian meetings that I attend seem like a waste of time. Why is that?
One big reason seems to be how much time we spend talking and strategizing instead of praying. I don’t see Jesus having lots of strategy sessions. He relies on the Spirit to coordinate things. He teaches through teachable moments that pop up as He ministers with His disciples. Jesus holds impromptu teaching sessions when they get away from the crowds.
Sure, Jesus lived life daily with His disciples. This is not possible for most people today. Or at least, it is a life we are not willing to live. Maybe the key is to be involved in only a few ministries and commit very deeply to them. But even amidst one ministry there can be competing interests for your time. What happens if worship band practice and small group conflict? What if a leadership meeting or prayer team meeting are scheduled at the same time? Choices have to be made. I am convinced that Jesus did not die so that we could spend life in meetings. But then the “practical” realities of ministry come and bring me back down to earth.
I seem to be caught between two worlds sometimes. And I have a hard time living well in either one. Jesus, save me from my own private twilight zone!
The Spirit has been convicting me lately about my pursuit of “more” ministry. I believe that God wants deeper ministry not just more of it. More can really be less if resources are spread too thin and none of my efforts go beyond the surface.
What are the necessary ingredients for a productive meeting? While there is no correct model, these elements can make all the difference.
-Listening prayer (Silence can be exactly what we need to hear from God)
-Praying for each member of the community by name
-Fellowship around a meal or activity
-Discuss a few key questions about where the community is and where God wants to take us
-Brainstorm innovative ways to explore more of God and encourage more community building
-Ask each person to share why they are there and what they believe God wants to do through them
-Pray for another ministry
-Worship through music or some other form of expression
-Exchange gifts or words of encouragement
-Discuss problems and challenges in ministry with a focus on finding solutions
The above are just some ideas. The real key seems to following God’s plan as the Spirit guides. No matter how skilled we are. Man can do nothing meaningful apart from God’s power.