Our by-laws say that we should have a spring business meeting. Why we need to have a spring business meeting is beyond me, but apparently it made sense to folks back when the by-laws were written. Spring business meetings had apparently been deprecated long before I became pastor of Central (certain parts of our by-laws are suspended, I think that’s one of them), but our last president thought that if we were to be faithful to who we say we are we needed to have said meeting – so we had some. They sucked. This was no surprise to any of us. There really that much that needed to be discussed at a “big” meeting, as the active membership of the Church had dropped to the point where you could actually pass on information better just having chats with people. We didn’t need a “here’s what we’re doing” meeting – people have tended to know that (even if they complain about it).
So our current president decided to revision the meeting and have the various leadership communities come up and share their vision for the coming year. As Cinco de Mayo was coming up, it was decided that we’d have a Cinco de Mayo pot-luck and then share our visions after that. Not surprisingly, it worked.
This isn’t to say that we didn’t have some hiccups, a few people were whining that they either don’t eat/cook Mexican food and so wouldn’t come. I had someone else ask during worship what time the meeting was happening if people didn’t want to come to meal (to which I said, “Your church is getting together at 6:30, this is an important part of our meeting, you need to be there for it”). In the end, however, we blew away my attendance estimate – and people were quite happy with the forward-looking content. It was quite nice.
After the meeting one woman actually came up and said to everyone she talked to, “This was the best meeting I’ve ever been to – people were enthusiastic.”