They are an unavoidable part of life. But are they bane or boon?
Or maybe both? Sometimes in the same meeting?
In ministry I have local committee meetings, Council meetings, planning meetings, meetings with other congregations on behalf of Presbytery, Presbytery committee meetings, Presbytery itself, and Conference meetings. Some weeks they can eat up most of the week.
This week for instance included a Council meeting (2.5 hours) one evening, and a 3 hour session one day working on the policy/procedure manual for the congregation, and an all day meeting of the Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee (yesterday) followed today by an all day meeting of the Presbytery, and capped off with the Congregational Annual Meeting following worship tomorrow. [Then I come home and crash????]
And to be truthful, while there are some meetings that make me go stir crazy (at least at some point within them) I generally enjoy meetings. Most of the time, for much of the meeting, I can see the point of what we are doing.
In part that is because I now have fewer bodies that meet "because we are supposed to meet" rather than because there is work to do. Yes sometimes it seems that the work could be done far more efficiently instead of having yet another meeting that will end with the need for another meeting that will end with...you see the pattern, but truly I think most of the meeting time I spend is in the service of an actual goal.
Some people hate meetings. They find them an imposition that takes away precious time that could be spent doing "real" ministry. But in the end I think that they ARE ministry. ANd so they come down more on the side of boon rather than bane.
Just feel free to remind me of that someday. OK?