Book 2.1 – Show Him the Money
from The One Minute Minister: Restoring Spirituality to Time Management
Upon arriving at the church, he found Frank sitting at a table in the church fellowship hall with several people he did not know; everyone was wearing name tags. Frank introduced them and led him over to the table laden with cookies, fruit and vegetables. There was coffee, iced tea, juice, ice water and hot water for tea or cocoa. Frank laughed in response to his unspoken question: “The coffee is decaf; if you want caffeine you’ll need to drink tea. Caffeine’s one of the problems with burnout.” He grabbed a regular tea bag, made tea and came back to the table.
“What’s going on here tonight?” he asked Frank. The room was set up with 20 or so tables; some were crowded, some were empty. At others individuals were reading through notebooks or other materials. Each table had a small basket; he could see the one on their table held a dozen clothes pins in a variety of bright colors.
“We call this Solomon’s Porch,” Frank explained. “It’s modeled on two concepts: the verse in Acts 5:12 where the Apostles gathered daily in the New Testament version of a public park called Solomon’s Portico, and also on the traditional Friday beer blasts at Silicon Valley startups – minus the beer, of course.”
“What is the purpose?”
“Organizations are living systems built out of people. The Bible identifies the church as such: we are the body of Christ. Every part of a system is linked to every other part, and every part has a need from time to time to communicate with other parts. Solomon’s Porch is that communication time. Any leader in our church can drop by on Wednesday night and find out what he or she needs to know. They can stay for the full three hours or just a few minutes. There’s too much to be done for us to do things one at a time; this is our way of doing everything at once.”
“What’s going on tonight?”
“That group over there is studying the book of Proverbs. The group in that corner is a class led by one of our associate pastors on how to lead a meeting.” Frank pointed to a man sitting at a table alone. A little stand on the table held a card where all could see it; printed on the card was the word Missions. “That’s our missions committee chair. The fact that he’s claimed a table indicates that there will be some sort of committee meeting tonight.” Across the room was a card printed “Youth Camping Trip” on a stand and a boisterous crowd of teenagers. One of the teens put a bright red clothespin on the card and Frank rose from the table.
“That red clothespin is a request for input from the Finance Committee, and I’m representing them tonight. See you in a bit.” It was disorganized, but there was a lot of energy in the room, quite a difference from the mall. People were having fun.
QUESTIONS FOR MEDITATION, JOURNALING OR GROUP DISCUSSION:
Are your meetings formal or informal? Structured or unstructured?
How comfortable are you with Solomon’s Porch? Like it or dislike it?
Would it be helpful to you to have something like Solomon’s Porch – to gather everyone you might need to communicate with in the same room at the same time on a regular basis? Could you adjust to everything happening at once, in the same room, with everyone accessible, if needed, to everyone else?