Essentials Part 12: Crispy Meetings

Rick Mattson Leadership, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Earlier today at Macalester College (where I work) I attended a crispy meeting. It was a student leadership team, run by a student.

We began with a short Bible study and prayer time.

We buzzed through about six agenda items that were laid out neatly on a single sheet of paper.

Discussion was healthy, decisions were recorded, responsibility for follow through designated.

The meeting started at 4, was over at 5. The time went fast.

Afterward I felt energized to follow through on the piece assigned to me. This group gets things done.

If I were 20 I’d join this team (if they’d take me).

On the other hand, crispy meetings of this nature are not valued universally.

In a completely different setting, I remember sitting in a gathering one morning between some of my white friends and a group from a minority culture.

We started right on time, zipped through the agenda and got out early. Most of the white folk bolted for the door. I happened to stick around for some chit-chat.

Now alone in the room (with me), the minority folks seemed a bit shell-shocked. They wondered aloud about building trust and a sense of community with the white folks, but having no chance to do so.


It seems to me the white church sometimes operates in no-man’s land:

  • In cultural settings where efficiency is valued, we can be sloppy and long-winded. 
  • In cultural settings where relationships and trust are valued, we have trouble ridding ourselves of the clock in order to settle in for some heart-and-soul time.

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