Meeting preparedness requires two components. 1. Organizers who prepare good agendas. 2. Attendees who read the agenda and accompanying materials.
Organizers – Preparing an agenda involves thinking through what is going to happen at the meeting — what the objectives are, who should be invited, what they should bring, and how long the meeting will last.
Attendees – Every meeting should require pre-meeting work. So that each attendee is up-to-speed, materials should be distributed beforehand. If the attendee doesn’t have time to read through the materials, then the attendee doesn’t have time to attend the meeting. Afterall, how do you thoughtfully debate a decision or intelligently coordinate resulting actions upon having only heard it for the first time? Unfortunately we have grown accustomed to impromptu comments sounding intelligent. If meeting attendees will commit to being prepared, then impromptu comments will be viewed accurately – unsubstantial.
Pastors should understand and respect the time constraints of those with whom they labor. Sometimes pastors can be the chief offenders. Is it not uncaring toward your co-laborers to stroll into a meeting empty-handed, wanting to be briefed, and then offering off-the-cuff observations as if the weight of your position is sufficient to overturn a room full of thoughtful people?
Unpreparedness can be cured easily. If one comes to the meeting unprepared, then cancel the meeting or hold the meeting without him. The unprepared participant must understand he is dead weight.