Relational meetings are The Thing for those of us who seek a community organizing model of ministry. We want to connect. We want to understand each other. We want to hear the stories of the Other.
But merely connecting is not enough for many of us. We also want meetings during which Practical Things Get Done.
So, what makes a good meeting?
- A gathering during which relationships have been enhanced? Or
- A gathering during achieves tangible or measurable outcomes?
We probably want both, but one will dominate.
Consider a church board meeting of – say – 12 elders. They have been elected to ensure that education, worship, mission, and financing happens in a congregation. But they have also been charged with being spiritual leaders.
Sharing their own faith stories, personal challenges, joys, doubts and hopes enhances their ability to lead others. It clarifies who they are to each other. It’s important for bonding.
But there are also budgets to write and curricula to select and volunteers to equip. Calendars require our attention. Community and global issues need consideration.
The worst kind of meetings are those during which nothing gets done: neither relationship building nor practical accomplishments.
Which is dominant on the governing boards of your organization?
- Relationships are nurtured.
- Practical business is accomplished.
- Nothing happens.
It’s a real question. I’m curious.
Image source. This is the famous photo of a meeting of 29 of the most famous scientists in the world in 1927.