Toss Out The Agenda

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Meetings can be long, they can be boring, and even end in conflict.  I’ve been a part of meetings where I’ve left more confused than when I walk in.  If there is a pet peeve that I have when it comes to work, it’s being a part of a meeting with no structure.  To keep a meeting on task with the most productive outcome, one needs an agenda (Click here to learn about agenda-less meetings).  Without agendas, you risk chaos, unless you intend your meeting to have a different outcome.
Sometimes meetings aren’t about accomplishing a task, but achieving a different type of goal.  Sometimes we meet because the goal is to grow relationally, emotionally and even spiritually.  An example of a meeting when the agenda is not necessary is a:

  • One On Ones With Students: If you really want to connect with a student the best thing to do is just sit down with them and ask them about life.  Just asking them questions about how God is working, not trying to contrive an answer but let the Holy Spirit work can produce some life changing results in you and the teen.
  • Networking With Youth Workers: I like the idea of just sharing life with my brothers and sisters in youth ministry.  What I like about agenda free meetings with other youth workers is that it gives me a chance to share my woes, pray with them and dream in big ways.  Yeah, planning an event for my ministry with theirs can be beneficial; however, I find myself growing more as a youth worker when I focus on the relational aspects of our encounter.
  • Time With God:  I’m a proponent of structured prayer, because of a certain discipline it brings; however, I’ve never felt more free when I’ve just had a day with God.  Nothing special, just walking around downtown Baltimore, going for a hike, or just reading scripture on my back porch.  No agenda, just allowing God to speak to me.

Agendas are healthy when you have a specific objective, when you want to accomplish a certain task.  Throwing out the agenda is more than just letting the moment take over, it’s also about relinquishing control.  It’s in the times when we allow God to control the situation, that we can learn the most about ourselves.  So in your schedule find some time to meet with no agenda.

What other types of meetings should lack an agenda?