Humorist Dave Barry wrote, “There are two major kinds of work in modern
organizations: 1) taking phone messages for people who are in meetings, and 2) going to meetings.”
One comedian said, “The Romans did not create a great empire by having meetings. No, they did it by killing everyone who got in their way.”
Since the latter is frowned upon, we are stuck with having meetings.
Meetings make an easy target for humor. They are sometimes unfocused and often are less exciting than watching concrete harden. But we persist in having them because they are necessary. Business requires communication. People need to meet together to talk, to share ideas, to plan, and to motivate. So, we meet – and then joke about it.
The same is true of meeting for church. For centuries, church gatherings have been an integral part of Christianity. And, throughout that time, we’ve joked about them – about how long church seems to last, how boring the sermons are, and how much we would rather be doing something else.
We’ve joked until a whole generation took us seriously and decided to skip the meetings. More than half of Americans currently do not attend church. Among those under 30, the percentage opting out is even higher. At present, the fastest growing religious category in America is “none”.
Is this good? As much as we joke about meetings, can businesses survive without them? Can the church? Can individual Christians?
For the record, God votes for having meetings. It was Jesus who proclaimed, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). It was the practice of his first followers that they “continued to meet together” (Acts 2:46; 5:12). It was Jesus’ apostle Paul who wrote that it is “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known” (Ephesians 3:10) and “in the church” that God would be glorified (Eph. 3:21).
Some hope to follow Jesus without participating in his church. Yet it was Jesus who “loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). It was his inspired writer who commanded Christians to “not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” (Hebrews 10:25).
The Romans didn’t conquer the world by having meetings. But they had meetings before marching into battle to conquer the world. Let’s meet in church and be motivated through those meetings to conquer the world rather than be conquered by it.