What do you think your church staff spends their time discussing and planning in their weekly staff meetings? Is their meeting time well spent or time well wasted? I think you’d be surprised, and perhaps shocked, by what your church staff talks about during their meetings. Here’s my confession to you. I haven’t often led or participated in meetings that were time well spent according to the Scriptures. Truthfully, my entire pastoral life has been a journey of trying to orient the staff meetings – heck the whole of the entire church organism – more and more toward the things Jesus would want us to be pursuing. I’m still learning how to enhance our team’s life of prayer (you’d be surprised how little a church staff actually will pray sometimes), and foster a more desperate ambition to see the lost find their way home, and see the found become true followers of Christ.
Yesterday, our entire team was thrilled to have a heartfelt discussion about the imperative of our mission. We talked about our excitement and our anxiety – which I’ve found to be the markers of a call to genuine faith – as we thought about going further and deeper to reach out to our community. We wrestled with how little we really know about how to solve the big issues of our town, and yet how our lack of solutions could not be our excuse. We left determined to add greater value to our outreach to the food insecure, the homeless, the emotionally abandoned teens, and the single parents in our community. We all loved the fact that we spent very little time talking about improving the lighting, the staging, the song selection or the right movie clip for next Sunday’s worship. It was addressed, but very little. I view that as progress in myself and in our team.
Hours later a pastor friend of mine called me to tell me about another staff meeting which occurred earlier that same day. You see, he was called by a staff member from a very large church to be the main character in a video they were making for their new sermon series. They’d spend their entire staff meeting discussing a video that would somehow depict a down-and-out person driving down the road in a cool old truck to somehow convey the power of God’s transforming love. So this member from our staff got the casting call from another church staff to be the “down-and-out” person in the video. Pretty funny! Funny that my friend would be cast as the lost guy, and sad-funny that we church’s spend so much time, energy and even money on such things. We’re supposed to “equip the saints for the work of service” according to Ephesians 4: 12. We’re not called to “entertain the saints for the work of spectating” 1 Americans 1: 1 – not a book in the bible. Pray for the leaders of your faith community. We need God’s help pursuing the things the Most High God wants us to pursue.