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.
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.