Seriously, I never would have thought that my first post of my new blog would be about presbytery meetings … can’t I find something more interesting or more engaging to discuss?
This week I attended my first presbytery meeting as Regional Presbyter. I only had a five minute “introduction” on the docket, I didn’t set the agenda, so I just watched and listened and observed the presbytery for most of the evening. And it got me thinking … what makes a good presbytery meeting?
Some guiding principles I think of off the top of my head:
- Our time together should glorify God … worship and prayer should be genuine and authentic and offered with all that we are and all that we hope to be. The presence of God, not just the business of the council (yes, I’m trying to remember to use our nFOG terminology), should be palpable and a priority in what we do together and how we interact with each other. (Hooray for praise music, worship, and stopping to pray at a time of great significance and hurt)
- Our time together should enrich, inspire, and encourage each other in our faith and ministry … while there is necessary “work” and “business” that the council needs to address, there should also be a balance of teaching, sharing and celebration of ministry. Each pastor and elder (and others) should leave the presbyter meeting with ideas, challenging thoughts for their congregations, a sense of fulfillment and joy at being church together. (Hooray, for Best Practices time on the agenda this week)
- Our time together should not be boring … I know I’m treading on thin ice here, but there is nothing less engaging (in my opinion) than someone standing in front of a group of people reading to them. Presentations should be presentations … visual, interpretive, and multi-sensory. Use music and illustrations, etc. to communicate as well as words and handouts. (Hooray for the fashion show)
- Our time together needs to enhance our togetherness … time and space for fellowship, for conversation, for building relationships needs to be incorporated in our time together. We can’t expect that this is the ONLY time for building relationships, but we can use this time to connect with those we work with in committees, study with in lectionary groups, mission trips and more. (Hooray for dinner and gathering at Ruby Tuesday after the meeting)
So, tell me … what do you think makes for a good presbytery meeting?