Thursday, May 14, 2009

What makes a meeting?

Earlier on, I was thinking about some exchanges between students relating to the content of Christian meetings. The issue in question was about the relative value of gatherings which focus on prayer and worship, rather than on preaching and teaching. The obvious answer is that a healthy 'diet' should include both, but it revealed the difference between 'conservative' and 'charismatic' evangelical approaches. For one, the decisive encounter with God is with the preached word, whereas for the other, it may be in the preached word, but also in prayer or in a specific prompt from the Holy Spirit. [This all ignores the fact that if everyone is involved in a local church as well, then student meetings are 'extras' anyway]

It echoed for me the different attitudes people have when they have been to a meeting of a committee or working group. For some people a good meeting = a good chat round the table; for others it can only be good if decision are made, tasks allocated and a schedule set. The truth is that different temperament types thrive on different kinds of interaction, and we all need both to keep us human.

I can't help wondering whether the apparent theological preferences relating to christian meetings are more about personality type than about theology. All too often we tend to dress one thing up as the other.

1 comment:

Mr Chris said...

Flexibility is a concept often lacking in churches. The ability to innovate and be flexible to allow meetings that serve wide differences in style and can adapt to various needs. I use the phrase "constantly innovating" which might well apply to some IT companies, but I'd challenge you to think of any churches you knew that it applied to.