Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
“After much discussion…” Those are the words we use when we’re writing minutes of a business meeting and there was a lot of discussion but not much said. When we write, “after much discussion…” it means there were plenty of folks who had something to say on the subject, but it wasn’t important enough to quote any of it here in these minutes. All that matters for posterity’s sake is…and then we put the results of the vote. From time to time, a comment is made that is important enough to put in the minutes, and we do so. But otherwise, we just write, “after much discussion…”.
The kinds of comments which end up being represented by “after much discussion…” are many. Some of them are way off the subject, irrelevant remarks which do not further the decision-making process at all. Some of them are personal in nature…too personal to memorialize forever in the meeting minutes. Some of them are nothing more than emotional venting…perhaps important for a particular person’s process but not at all helpful for the entire group. But all of them have one thing in common: From a long-term perspective of knowing how we came to this decision, they were not important.
In my experience dealing with conflicted congregations, We are not doing a very good job of teaching our churches a decision-making process which honors the Lord. Specifically, when it comes to discerning together what the Head of the church (Jesus) is calling us to do, we do not get very high scores in terms of the processes we use. Most often, the vast majority of the words we use in staff meetings, committee meetings and …