In his Primer for Pastors, Austin B. Tucker ties pastoral ministry to the ministry of Jesus. “The first miracle of Jesus…was at a wedding where he turned water into wine (John 2:1:11) The last miracle was at the grave of his friend, Lazarus, where ‘Jesus wept’ before he restored his friend to life (John 11:35). Every pastor who walks with his people will have his own mixture of joy and sorrow.”
I have had the privilege and blessing of officiating more weddings and funerals than I can count. As a minister of the gospel, I have always tried to highlight the power of God’s Word during these milestone moments with couples and families.
Here are two guides that I have developed, one for each end of the spectrum of life. One is for Christian couples who are about to get married. The other is for someone who is planning or participating in a funeral for a family member or friend.
Wedding Planning Guide
Funeral Participation Guide
If churches are made up of people, than meetings are an inevitable, and important part of church life. Meetings have gotten a bad reputation, but that doesn’t have to be the case in the place where you serve. Here are a few tips to lead more productive meetings
- Have a plan. The old saying is true: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You may choose to send out a written agenda ahead of time, or make one up at the start of the meeting. Either way, have a plan and stick to it
- Be flexible. Flexibility is a necessary complement to good planning. Sometimes new information comes to light or situations change, even during the middle of a meeting. Good leaders take advantage of changing situations and adapt whenever necessary.
- Solicit input. The best meetings are a collaboration of the best ideas in the room. Be prepared to ask open-ended questions, listen, and clarify for the sake of the group.
- Surface conflict. Not everyone will voice his or her concern or opposition to a decision. A good leader will find ways to bring divergent opinions and disagreement to the surface so that it can be dealt with. This is one way to encourage buy-in and support moving forward.
- Clarify next steps. Whether its further research, a follow-up meeting, or a phone call, every meeting can be improved by clarification. Make sure that everyone knows what is happening next and who is responsible for each step.
What other tips would you share with church leaders who want to improve the productivity of their meetings.?