Thursday, October 13, 2005

God So Loved the World...

I have chaired hundreds of meetings of various organizations over the last 30+ years: university fraternities, social work teams, non-profit organizations, church conference divisions, even a city commission that I chaired. I consider my experience and knowledge as a leader well above the average. However, all of my experience and know-how has not prepared me for chairing meetings of the association of churches for which I am president.

These meetings seem to get away from me time after time. It first happened last march. The agenda was well-thought-out, the points inclusive, and the time allotted seemed to be more than adequate. Yet, it went in a direction that all of the planning and anticipation did not foresee. A pastor from another area had asked to make a presentation. I agreed and allowed 15 minutes in an agenda for his discourse. He talked for 35 minutes! And I, as chair of the meeting, was reluctant to yank him out of the pulpit. I had never before faced such a situation.

Until tonight’s meeting of the governing board of the association. I announced at the beginning of the meeting that we did not have a long agenda and that we could be finished in an hour or less. The bloody meeting lasted over two and a half hours! Again, I felt that I lost control of the meeting and it took quite a while to get us off the tangents and back to the agenda.

So, what is it about this association? It is as if we are all in a row boat and each of us is rowing in a different direction and the boat is going no where. If I were an inexperienced leader, I could say that my lack of practice and skills were at fault. As an experienced leader, I would like to say that these meetings that go hay wire are learning experiences for me. But I can’t figure out what I am being taught!

Next month is the most important meeting in the association’s year. I think that the agenda is well-thought-out, the points inclusive, and the time allotted is more than adequate. Still, I know there is something I am not taking into account. And, as with much of life, if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong and at the worst possible moment. I suppose I must simply do the best I can and trust the rest to God!


  1. Good luck:) I would have no idea what to do myself.

  2. Sounds like a timer might be in order here, or at least during discussion times. An idea might be to put the topic of discussion on an overhead and routinely state whether the group is doing well at staying on topic or drifting. I'm sure you've done this a million times more than me, but it was just a thought.

  3. hmm.. I'm no good in meetings (ie: I can't stand them!) and I could NEVER lead a meeting. I go completely blank in front of crowds!
    Good luck

  4. Nice blog. Have you seen your google rating? BlogFlux It's Free and you can add a Little Script to your site that will tell everyone your ranking. I think yours was a 3. I guess you'll have to check it out.

    Computer News
    Google plans instant-messaging system, report says

    Google Inc. is set to introduce its own instant messaging system, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday, marking the expansion by the Web search leader into text and also voice communications.

    Citing unnamed sources "familiar with the service," the Los Angeles Times said that Google's Instant Messaging program would be called Google Talk and could be launched as early as Wednesday.

    Google Talk goes beyond text-based instant messaging using a computer keyboard to let users hold voice conversations with other computer users, the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

    A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the company's product plans.

    If confirmed, the combined computer text and voice-calling service would put Google in competition with a similar service pioneered by Skype, which has attracted tens of millions of users, especially in Europe, to its own service.

    Separately, independent journalist Om Malik on his blog at pointed to technical clues that suggest Google is preparing to run an instant messaging service based on an open-source system known as Jabber.

    Jabber technology would allow Google instant message users to connect with established IM systems that also work with Jabber, including America Online's ICQ and Apple Computer Inc.'s iChat, Malik said.

    "This is the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will be up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype," he wrote.

    Earlier this week, Google said it was branching out beyond pure search to help users manage e-mail, instant messages, news headlines and music. It introduced a new service called the Google Sidebar, a stand-alone software program that sits on a user's desktop and provides "live" information updates.

    Over the past year or so, the company has expanded into e-mail, online maps, personalized news and more.

    The product push comes as rivals Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL are all pushing to upgrade existing instant messaging systems and expand into new Internet phone-calling services.

    Google's moves take it beyond its roots in Web search and closer to becoming a broad-based Internet media company.

    With instant messaging, Google would be breaking into a market in which its major competitors boast tens of millions of subscribers to their established instant messaging services.

    America Online, with its AIM and ICQ brands, counts more than 40 million IM users in the United States alone. Yahoo has around 20 million and Microsoft's MSN Messenger numbers some 14 million users, according to recent comScore Media Metrix data.

    Copyright © - 2005 Entireweb


  5. Thanks, El. I have the knowledge; unfortunately it doesn’t work with this group. I need to figure out why.

    Good idea, SonSon! I’ve give it a try.

    Audrey, since I’m primarily an introvert, I had to learn to overcome a lot to be able to lead anyone, any where. After 30 or so years in leadership roles, I feel I can—except when things get out of hand as they seem to do with this association.

  6. i dont like meetings. i get bored.