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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meetings

Most of us, if we have been around awhile, avoid meetings.  In a lot cases they are wasteful uses of precious time at best.  Hebrews 10:24 – 25 exhorts us as believers to gather regularly.  That can take different forms worship service, Sunday school, small group, one on one, or a committee meeting.  I have been to all of those, just left one in fact.  How do you engage with those types of meetings?  How do you experience the leadership of those meetings?
What do we do with all of the meetings that we are scheduled to attend?  Are they really all that important?
The first verb in Hebrews 10:24 is consider, in the original it is katanoeo the root word is noeo which means to direct one’s mind to a subject.  The force of this word here is to place importance on through engaging in thinking through, or planning.  It is not a casual word.  It suggests diligent purposeful thought that produces like action.

Is that how you experience or participate in the meetings that I listed above?  If the Bible is right the great majority of the stuff we are concerned with on a daily basis is kindling.  The meetings that focus on how to build people up in Christ or in the Word of God deal with the only two things that are eternal, men’s souls and God’s Word.  When the pastor gets up on that stage, when the teacher gets in front of the class, when the leader of the small group opens in prayer, when you sit down at the coffee shop with your friend to talk about the Bible, eternal issues that have eternal consequences are in play.

I have been guilty of taking some of those meetings lightly.  I have mailed in some of my participation.  That is sin.  I was guilty of not considering how to make the most of that time.  These meetings are not just important.  They are meetings in which God has directed us to participate.  Seems to me we should view that as somehow more important than what we do in the meetings at work.  Consider.

2 comments:

  1. A friend who did not want to post here sent me an email with a question that I expected. They gave me permission to post the comment here.

    Great one on multiple levels. Everything you said about “Christian” meetings is true. However, one question….doesn’t God also tell us…

    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
    Colossians 3:22-24

    How do you reconcile the portion you pulled out about the importance of assembling with other Christians and the above? I am not sure that I end up drawing the conclusion that one type of meeting is more important than the other. Rather, I think where I end up is that God says if your vocation is in the secular world, then you must do that vocation with all of your heart as if working for the Lord. Now, I do not think that is tantamount to biblical support for a workaholic who has abandoned his family, church, neighborhood and friend. I do think that we are all under an obligation to pursue our vocation with excellence and a pure heart. I also think that if we think our vocation is more important than God we have created an idol in our life. When it comes to meetings – I think we should treat every obligation we make as if it is an appointment with God. Boy do I struggle with that one as the course of my day with multiple obligations means that I can mess up a 3 o’clock appointment because I spend extra time in meaningful conversation with my 2:00 appointment – which appointment with God was more important? Anyway, with each appointment, I think we are called to should enter it prayerfully, with thoughtfulness and purpose, with a heart towards serving others and with a goal of glorifying God in all that takes place.

    This is where it gets more difficult for me- I would prefer to say a prayer and acknowledge God’s presence and power at the beginning of my business meetings but the laws of the land say I am forbidden from doing that….this is a point of contention for me but one to which I am resigned.

    Anyway, just some additional thoughts this morning on this topic as it is one that I have and do consider regularly….invite a comment if you desire and hope you are well friend!

    Blessings to you –

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    Replies
    1. As I mentioned I expected that someone might raise this question. I could not agree more that we are to honor God in all we do. Colossian 3:17, 23 is clear on that.

      Nor am I suggesting that "secular" vocations are less important. I do not like the secular/sacred bifurcation. I do not find much support for that in Scripture. We were specifically designed for work which He set for us, Ephesians 2:10. How can work that He ordained for us be not sacred?

      As for your opening your meetings with prayer. You can do that. Just do it in your office prior to going into the conference room. Could not agree with your statement about how we interact with people any more.

      The point here is that even though all of what we do is ordained by God. Or better especially because... in the meetings if the meeting is not about the Word of God, the only thing that is going to last is the people. They are eternal. The subject of the meeting is not. How we treat them, how that meeting moves them closer to the Lord by our actions is what is critical.

      Secondly, when we are dealing with the Word of God in any capacity with others, eternal issues are at stake. So while all of the meetings are important, when the Word of God is in the mix, we need to prepare accordingly.

      I have been in too many meetings where this was not the case.

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