Jun 16

Evangelism and Meetings posted by jwatson on Jun 16, 2014

Dr. David Self is the Chairman of the Board of Evangelism Explosion International

Often leaders must convene meetings for purposes of clarity, evaluation, planning and motivation. The deeper I get into leadership, the more meetings I find myself attending. Sometimes, for those of us who are more practitioners than theoreticians, meetings can be draining, tinged with a feeling of guilt: why are we just sitting here talking?

One of my favorite single panel cartoons depicts two women talking as they exit the church building: “Don’t you wish house work was like church work? Then we could just talk about it instead of actually doing it.” Inherent in the humor is an unpleasant truth: when all is said and done about evangelism, generally more is said than done.

So, here’s a confession: I don’t really enjoy meetings. I prefer action to discussion. So it’s ironic that my roles required me to attend no less than 26 staff and committee meetings during the month of May. In June I’ll attend the National EE Summit involving many more meetings. Lot of talking and much discussion. In my younger days, I would have passed the time anxiously squirming, doodling, or composing to-do lists of action items to be completed “once I got out of this meeting”.

However, time and perhaps maturity have helped me appreciate the value of meetings. After all, Jesus met regularly with His “Committee of 12”. And while He didn’t need those disciples to help determine the details of their first mission trip (Mark 6:7-13), Jesus was perfect. We are not. All of us are smarter than any one of us.

To fail to plan is to plan to fail. So embrace meetings. Add your voice. Gain inspiration and wisdom from others. Be accountable to others for practicing evangelism and not just talking about it.

And, if you’re entrusted to lead a meeting, follow three simple rules: 1) Begin with prayer; after all, it’s His business, not yours. 2) Pursue your purpose. Insure that all are aware of your reason for meeting and discussion is held accountable to that purpose. 3) Conclude by highlighting action items arising out of the meeting and determining who’s responsible for completing them.

Still in doubt about the value of meetings? Read Acts 15. In the very heart of our best chronicle of New Testament evangelism and missions lies a significant meeting called the Jerusalem Council. As you read the chapter, seek to better understand how Holy Spirit controlled meetings can promote unity, provide clarity, and propel evangelism to the next level.

So, at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with talking about evangelism as long as our walk matches our talk. Meet, plan, and “Go”.

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