David Murray gives tips for church meetings here.
We did most of these when I worked at British Telecom - the meetings where everyone stood up were certainly shorter though I don't think it did a lot for people's aggression.
In Deeside for the officers' meetings and for the church meetings we weren't gimmicky but we were businesslike. The main thing I remember is trying to ensure meetings were prayerful - we'd pray for issues before, after and sometimes as we discussed them.
Here yesterday there was a meeting of the group to discuss the future of the Christian Bookshop in the middle of town. To me it seemed slow and long. I remember once making some remark at the end of a seven hour church officers' meeting - one of our folk said "Oh, it seemed long to you ? I love 'em - they end too soon for me..."
This morning we have the Assemblée Constituante of the Antenne Girondine of the Conseil National des Evangéliques de France. It could take quite some time...
A lot of this is cultural. Anglo-Saxon culture is task oriented. We got an agenda, stuff to do, come on, busy, busy, busy. Get in, decide, get out, do. Meetings are a distraction from the work for us.
Latin culture is person oriented. What do you think about this ? Has everybody expressed themselves ? Everything progresses very slowly. Decide ? Don't rush us. One mustn't dance faster than the music. Meetings are the work.
Coming from an Anglo-Saxon culture I have always the tendency to think that we are right and the meetings too long, a distraction and counter-productive.
But then I remember the day when I was charging round the church folding, packing and stopping things while people kissed goodbye and when I realised that the church is about the kissing goodbye rather than the packing away of bits and bobs. Which is more like Jesus walking the roads of Israel followed by his disciples ?
It' might still be fun one day to suggest that we meet standing up with no table. Except there'd be nowhere to put the cakes...