Consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
It’s said that the church can be judged by the quality of its encounters. Isn’t that a fancy way of saying a meeting? What might make us not give up meeting together?
1. Show up at the meeting with high hopes and be the most positive person present. You’ve heard people say that you should seize the interview? That’s how you get the job. That’s also how you come to enjoy meetings.
2. When negative people show up at the meeting, with the full intention of making everybody else feel as rotten as they do, call them out. I mean call them in. How else can we spur each other on?
3. Give every group three chances and then quit. But when you quit, realize that meetings are inevitable in the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds.
If you don’t learn how to self-govern yourself in self-governing meetings, what will happen to self-governance and democracy? The stakes are high, not low.
Let me go into my meetings with a wiggle in my walk and a giggle in my talk. On the way out, let people compliment each other on how much poetry and possibility we all have. Spur me on to that great Day which is approaching. Amen.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.