4 Benefits of Starting Your Meetings WITHOUT a Devotional

Last week, I wrote about a practice we use at my church to start off our leadership team meetings (as well as our membership classes). We call it "dwelling in scripture" (this name comes from The Missional Leader by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk). In that post, I explained how we do this; in this post, I want to explain why it's such a great practice.

Photo by striatic (Creative Commons)Photo by striatic (Creative Commons)I first implemented this practice at Northminster Presbyterian Church before I even started as the pastor. I had been voted in by the congregation, but we hadn’t yet moved to San Diego. So I began meeting by phone with a "Pastoral Transition Team" from the church once a week. We talked and discussed about where God was calling Northminster as we moved into the future.

We started every meeting by "dwelling" in Luke 10:1-12 by following the practices I mention in my other post.

4 Benefits of Dwelling in Scripture

So why is this "dwelling in scripture" thing so great? Here are a few of the benefits we’ve experience by doing it month after month.

Benefit #1: It gets the team focused on God's presence in our meeting. Kinda self-evident, so I won’t elaborate on this one.

Benefit #2: It creates a level of vulnerability and trust among the team members. Because the purpose of this practice is to reflect on what God is saying to me at this particular time, we get hear each other’s stories month after month. It allows us to open up with each other--and that builds trust.

Benefit #3: It makes room for God to say what God wants to say. Rather than using a devotional--which comes with a pre-determined agenda--dwelling in scripture allows God to say what God would say. It’s neat when a common theme emerges in what the team members share. We often end our times together with an awareness of the one thing God wanted us to hear. And it’s not always what I would have had us hear.

And best of all...

Benefit #4: I don't have to plan a devotional for every meeting! I hated that in my last church. I’d always be scrambling last minute for something interesting or challenging or heartwarming to share. But I haven’t planned a devotional for more than five years now. I just let God say what God wants to say as we dwell in the scriptures.

It never gets old

This practice of dwelling in scripture is something that I don't think will ever get old. Why not? Because the scriptures don't get old. Because they are alive! As we simply open ourselves up to what God would say to us through the scriptures that day, we discover that God always has something new to say.

If you've practiced "dwelling in scripture," which of these benefits have you experienced? What benefits not mentioned here have you experienced? What do you usually do to start your leadership team meetings? 

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