Here’s the scenario I challenge you to consider today. You and your church staff are having your regular weekly meeting. What’s different this week is that unbeknownst to you, a new believer and a long-term church member are watching and listening from another room. If that’s the case, consider these questions:
1. Would they see you and your staff as a praying staff? Or would they see you praying perfunctorily at the beginning and ending of the meeting?
2. Would they be surprised by how critical you are of church members? Knowing that staff must sometimes talk about people issues, would they nevertheless hear you and your staff as judgmental of others?
3. Would they be offended by your speech and your jokes? Even if it’s all just “borderline wrong,” would your church members lose faith in you if they eavesdropped on your staff meeting?
4. Would they get any sense that you are concerned about reaching non-believers in your community and around the world? How much conversation would they hear about lostness?
5. Would they see you open the Bible at all? Or, do you meet without any reference to the Word?
6. Would they perceive rivalry and conflict among your staff? Would body language, words and responses indicate that your staff is hardly united?
7. Would they hear only monologue or dialogue? Is it only your voice that they hear? Or can they tell that you genuinely want input from others?
8. Would they want to get on board even more because your vision is clear and compelling? Or, would they watch and listen to you talk about “stuff,” but with no real vision guiding your team?
9. Would they conclude that the meeting is a waste of time? If they would, I suspect that some of your staff might, too.
10. Would they be proud to be a part of your church? What would they think based on what happens in your staff meeting?
What are your thoughts about your staff meeting?
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. This article was originally published on ChuckLawless.com.