Church Meetings as Ritual - not Rubber Stamps

Church meetings can be a drag. Oftentimes the critique is that Church meetings are more a rubber stamp than anything. The implication is that rubber stamps are not a very meaningful use of time. People show up and the decisions have already been made and so the official/final vote at the meeting is a "rubber stamp."

What I would offer up is that many of the most significant times in our lives look on the surface like rubber stamps, but we know that they are not. 

For instance, a wedding. The ones being married have already made the decision to get married. They have already planned and made hundreds of little decisions that brought them to the wedding day. The wedding ceremony is very choreographed where every question asked at the "meeting" is already decided. We do not see the wedding as a rubber stamp because we know the wedding is a ritual.

Photo by  Hannes Wolf  on  Unsplash

Photo by Hannes Wolf on Unsplash

Baptisms are the same way. This sacrament is a ritualizing of a series of decisions that have already been made. The ritual is there to not only formalize but to proclaim that in fact the work of God happens before our work and that what we do in in response to God's work. Again, on the surface baptisms can look like rubber stamps, but we do not think of them as such.

I want to offer up to those who view meetings as rubber stamps to see Church meetings as rituals - not rubber stamps. If you are disappointed or frustrated that your voice was not heard at the meeting, then we know that our relationships with the leadership needs to be worked on. And perhaps we know this and this is why we are prone to see meetings as rubber stamps but not weddings. We have a relationship with the couple getting married but not always with the people leading the meeting. 

The next time you are leading or attending a Church meeting, consider approaching the meeting as a ritual. It may be easier to see everyone in the meeting in the same light we see everyone at a wedding (beloved) when we approach the meeting as a ritual.