Like most of us in the modern world much of my week consists of meetings. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they’re not. Meetings come in all shapes and sizes; long, short, tedious, creative, boring, etc. You get the point. As a pastor I want to share with you my best meeting of every week (especially if you happen to be a pastor or church staff member).
Every Tuesday at 11am I gather with all of our pastor’s for a time of sermon preparation. We look at the biblical text that I will be preaching for the upcoming weekend. At this time I am preaching through Philippians. We pray, read the passage and then for the next sixty minutes I take copious notes as people around the table just share their insights. Some people come in with material they have already researched and others simply share in the moment.
Why do I enjoy this meeting so much?
- It is one of the most energizing times of the week, both for me and others.
- It gives the entire pastoral team some ownership for the message on Sunday.
- It provides opportunity for us to experience community together as we open the Word.
- It gives us weekly alignment because we’re all focused on the same thing.
- It helps me address ministry needs that come to the table during these meetings.
- It shares the burden and multiplies the joys of teaching.
- It even provides times of great laughter as we exchange ideas.
- It takes me out of the “isolation of preparation”.
Since a number of our small groups are sermon based, we invite lay leaders who write discussion guides during the week to join us also. I love the collaboration of working together. I walk out of the room each week with a full heart and a spinning head. I love this meeting.
So if you have the responsibility of teaching/speaking each week you might want to consider inviting others into the process. What, no staff? You have lots of lay people who would be thrilled to join you in the process, just ask them. I wish I had made this a ministry practice twenty years ago. If you are flying solo in your preparation give this a try and let me know what you think. In fact I would love to hear about your preparation practices. We can all learn from one another. Blessings.