Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How To Have a Great Session Meeting

Here's some advice for those looking for ways to improve session meetings, based on the one I attended last night:

1. Begin with a devotion.

2. Lead the elders in reading a selected passage of scripture.

3. Divide the session into small groups and walk the groups through the process of applying the practice of lectio divina to the passage.

4. Spend a few minutes in silence to allow time for prayer and reflection.

5. Open the business portion of the meeting with prayer.

6. Use a consent agenda for items that don't need explanation or debate.

7. Spend as much time highlighting mission and outreach efforts as on program and administration issues.

8. Invite questions and discussion on issues before the session.

9. Wrap it all up in 45 minutes with the reminder of how blessed the church is despite the challenges the economy is presenting and the struggle to continue the church's "dollar for dollar" policy that requires the budget to provide the same amount of money for mission and outreach as for administration and internal programming.

10. Conclude with a prayer ring.

The result? I left feeling spritually renewed and energized rather than frustrated and anxious as I have in the past at other churches. What a blessing!


Joy said...

Thanks for the great list. I will be taking it to our next meeting, our first with our new Interim Moderator.

Reformed Catholic said...

Wow ... I wonder if anyone on the Session at Stodgy Presbyterian would even conside a devotion prior to the rest of the meeting.

Recovering Baptist said...

This all seems a no brainer, I would be refreshed too. The difference seems to be your session remembers it is a church and it's focus needs to be ministry. So far my experience of PCUSA session meetings has been a hijacking by business folk who are only worried about bottom lines and buildings. There's an awful lot of ego wrapped up in building projects imho.

Marlene said...

Our EPC Church session (formerly PCUSA) meets for a half hour of prayer before session meeting. Often on knees. It sets the tone for everything that follows.

Mac said...

Wow! Red painter is envious, and I am sharing this with our session.

Well done, thou good and faithful servants.

Byron Wade said...

Great post!! I definitely follow points 1 - 5 during session meetings but need to focus more on the others, especially 6, 7, and 10. However I'm afraid that getting done in 45 minutes won't work. Our session meetings are also social times along with business. We have lots of fun, though!