Sunday, April 22, 2007

Best Conference Annual Meeting Ever!

I really don't like meetings I'm not running. Seth Godin recently blogged about needless meetings and how to cut through the wasted time and human resources. In 26 years of being a Covenant pastor, some of the worst meetings have been Conference and Denominational Annual Meetings. The response of some delegates to being asked to represent the church is "Why me? What did I do wrong?" These two types of annual meetings usually violate several key guidelines: they major on the minors (long multipaged financial reports with unreadable power-point slides), they are dominated by mic-hogs, people who once in front of a microphone, can't leave, or get lost in floor debates about Robert's Rules of order. They make the delegate ask themselves "why is it that I am here?". Over the past 10-12 years, I have accumulated a reputation for leaving meetings early, stepping out for long coffee breaks in frustration, or looking for any reason why not to attend.
So it was with some trepidation that I drove to Simi Valley Covenant Church for the Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) Annual Meeting. My world got rocked! The best overview came from the retiring Treasurer who said "We need to have a standing order for Kleenex boxes from now on." Never have I teared up so often for good reasons. Reports became witnesses. There were no mic-hogs, but a desire by the Superintendent Evelyn Johnson and her staff to get others up to the mic to tell their stories of God's amazing, life-transforming work in their congregations. We applauded and stood, sang and prayed and sniffled back tears. One Covenant pastor leaned over to me and said "This is a blueprint for how to run a meeting!" Kudo's to Evelyn Johnson and the Executive Board for a GREAT MEETING!


At 1:47 PM , Blogger Chris Brooks said...

That is the kind of meeting I can get excited about!!!


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