I believe if you ask a pastor what is the most important part of their ministry, the word “meetings” will not make the list.
Meetings are those things pastors and laity put up with because church constitutions mandate them to be held. Whether they are strictly or loosely formal, meetings can get bogged down in minutia. It is the minutia that gives meetings a bad name.
Today, my congregation held their monthly Voters’ Meeting – think church council meeting. It went well as no major divisions came up. But as I’ve written before, sometimes we worry and focus on issues that have very little to do with the ministry of the church. And it is not just St. Matthew’s, but every church has these moments.
But I am coming to believe that is what these Voters’ meetings are supposed to be about. They are purposefully the arena in which everything slows down. They focus on the money and the budget. They ponder the actions of the committees. They plan future capital spending.
In effect, they are like the US Senate, a body that slows every point of legislation down to make sure things are done properly.
While Voters’ Meetings slow things down, our Vision Team is spending time working on the ministry of the church. Their attitude is simple: “It’s Jesus first.”
- We wanted to upgrade our worship experience, adding visual and audio – they did it.
- We want to raise money for our Veteran’s ministry – they’re in the middle of planning our first beefsteak dinner.
- We want to make a splash at our borough’s National Night Out to tell the story of the Gospel – they’ve outlined a good plan for that night.
- We want to make our Prayer Team more effective – they’re doing it.
- We wanted to make the back of the church more inviting by installing better lighting – they made sure it got done.
- We wanted to make our doors nicer by painting them – they got it done.
- We wanted to upgrade our website and mobile experience – they got it done.
In the fall, our Voters’ meetings are going to go through a little bit of a reformation. We’re going to focus on specific church issues each month. This will minimize the time we spend talking about some issues but will maximize the effectiveness of our time together and focus our work on building St. Matthew’s for the future. Combining with the work of the Vision Team, St. Matthew’s is set on a good foundation for the future.