Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Church meeting

I have been to a few excellent church meetings where we were able to discern God's presence and leading as the Holy Spirit spoke powerfully to the church.

I have, if I am honest, been to many mediocre meetings where there was a sense of needing to get the business done rather than on waiting on God together and I have been to a few dreadful ones (not recently) which seemed to be much more about politics and power struggles than prayer. In no way do I wish to absolve myself from all blame, that these latter meetings turned out the way they did!

Recently we have been experimenting with new ways of doing meetings Vision Meeting
Judging by the very positve comments we  felt this worked well and are already planning the next one. My own take is that the fact that the whole meeting was done in the context of worship,and that we gave time to it made all the difference
I was grateful today to The simple pastor for drawing my attention on his blog , to an excellent blog by Steve Holmes that touches on church meetings Steve Holmes blog about church meetings which he wrote partly in response to a comment by Mark Driscoll to the effect ‘it is almost impossible to be both congregational and missional’.
Though in fairness to Driscoll if "almost impossible "is too strong then I could go with "pretty difficult"!

I  enjoyed Holmes retelling of the history of voting at church meetings  and I particularly agreed with his conclusion

 Personally, I would like to do away with the practice of voting in church meeting: for a century it was prophetic; for another few decades it was useful; now it is toxic and undermining of the reality of what church meeting is about. If we are to keep it, however (and it may be that there are legal reasons why we must), we need to renarrate it powerfully enough and often enough that our people realise a vote at church meeting is not a way of promoting the interests of our party, but a way of participating in the shared task of discerning the mind of Christ.

As a church leader I would say Amen to that.     I think we are heading in the right direction.

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