Just because we assemble with God’s people does not necessarily mean that God’s Word is given or that God’s glory is priority. Leading a church meeting is a tremendous responsibility. Everyone involved in the meetings have a responsibility to the Lord (more on that here). Leaders have a responsibility both to the Lord and to those in attendance. The goal of those who lead must not simply be to moderate a service but to point everyone to the Lord. 

As an assistant to a pastor for many years it was my privilege to help lead many meetings. Recently I had the opportunity to lead a series of meetings and it reminded me of so many things. Leading a meeting can be much more challenging than preaching in one! Here are 7 simple suggestions that God is teaching me through both observation and personal experience:

  1. Plan. Do not wait until the meeting to think and pray about what will take place and what you want to emphasize. When you create a proposed order for the meeting you are seeking to remove any obstacle to the Lord’s leadership. The guidance of the Holy Spirit does not begin with the first hymn – it begins in the preparation.
  2. Start on time. We are stewards of our own time but also of the time of others. People set aside time to come to a church meeting and that time should never be wasted. When we begin on time we show the importance of every moment. I am currently reading a book on the life of G. Campbell Morgan. In it Morgan described how so many churches treated certain services as unimportant. He concluded, “Things treated as of lesser importance come to be looked upon as such, and people treat them accordingly.”
  3. Saturate every part of the meeting with purpose. We should not have a meeting just to have a meeting and we should not do anything in the meeting just to fill time. What is the goal? Have a definite emphasis in every meeting and allow every part to connect to it.
  4. Communicate. Everyone who is involved in leading in the meeting should know what is expected. Teach those who help you so that they too can be prepared.
  5. Avoid unnecessary talk. Talkers love to talk. Sometimes we can say too much in a meeting and take away from what God is trying to say. Nothing we say or do should take away from a spirit of worship and attention to spiritual things.
  6. Emphasize the Word of God. When the Lord’s people gather they should always hear from the Lord! Everything that you want to accomplish in the meeting – praise, worship, confession, intercession – will be enriched and guided by the truth of Scripture. Give people something definite from God’s Word to take with them.
  7. Pray your way through. It is vital that the leader be led by the Holy Spirit and completely yielded to His promptings. My pastor taught me that Spirit filled men will always appear a little spontaneous because the Holy Spirit does not always follow our order. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). We are not seeking to harness the Holy Spirit, but we are to be harnessed by Him!

In the end, Paul’s declaration should be our desire: “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). Decent according to God’s truth. Ordered by God’s Spirit.

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey exists to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage pastors and local churches, and equip believers to walk with God and serve Him each day. Through audio, video, and print resources we are seeking to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God, and reach this generation for Christ.

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