Monday, November 3, 2008

Finding Purpose and Growth in Church Meetings

There is a very specific purpose for each meeting we attend on Sunday (Sac Mtg = communal worship and spiritual renewal; Sun School = doctrinal study; PH/RS/YM/YW = personal and communal growth and service, practical discussion, organizational planning; Primary = too many to list and truly the most challenging, exhilarating, frustrating and exhausting), and even when I'm not learning anything new in a meeting I feel a responsibility to listen intently, observe those around me and try to help them learn from that meeting in whatever way is possible. Sometimes that is by verbal contribution; sometimes it is by smiling at a speaker; sometimes it is by nothing more than a reverential focus.

I have found that I can GROW in almost any meeting I attend, as long as I'm not hung up on having to LEARN intellectually during the meeting - and sometimes I learn amazing things from a meeting or someone in that meeting when I might otherwise think they and it can't teach me anything new.

I have found in my life that my attitude is MUCH more important to what I get out of church meetings than what is said in those meetings. It really isn't even close.


Patty said...

That's so true. If we aren't getting anything from our meetings the problem is with us, not the lesson, talks or teachers. Thanks for the reminder to check my attitude before sitting down!

Christy said...

I agree. I had been bringing a journal with me to record the content of the talks and lessons on Sunday. Yesterday I realized I had forgotten it, and I only had a little notebook (my son was horrified to see that I had a "little black book" lol), and was only able to write three lines. Those three lines were three things that I can try this week to help me in my life and the lives of my family members. I've decided that is the only book I need to bring from now on...and I'm going to try to make a habit of it. Needless to say, it was one of the best testimony meetings I've experienced.

Rosalie Erekson Stone said...

I love this post. I also agree 100% with the ways you suggested we can definitely help everyone in attendance at a meeting to have a better--and hopefully more spiritual--experience. Our facial expressions and body language, as well as things we may say, can help the speaker or teacher (or the music director!) as well as contribute to the general atmosphere of the meeting.

Having a positive attitude, and a strong desire to help bring the Spirit into a meeting can change our experience from boredom, irritation or frustration, to charitably proactive participation--even if we don't actually speak a word.