Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meeting for Business

Today I attended my first Quaker "Meeting for Business". This is a uniquely Quaker type of meeting where church business is brought before the entire gathering comprised of anyone who wishes to attend. The goal is to listen together and discern what God's will is regarding the various business matters. At one time I thought that the goal of Quaker business meetings was to arrive at consensus but I've since realized that the goal is instead to hear as a community what God is saying. Everyone's input-- whether in agreement or dissent--is welcome, however the hope is that people are not offering mere opinions but rather are speaking forth what they believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to them. The Quakers seem to have had a pretty good 350 year track record with this.

Today's meeting was to go over the next year's budget for the church. In the 25 years that I have been a Christian, I have never experienced this kind of transparency in church finances. Nothing was hidden and no one was pushing a personal agenda. Anyone could voice questions or concerns or suggestions. It was incredibly refreshing, incredibly cooperative, incredibly enfranchising, incredibly Christian.


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