Jacob Slichter is an MMC presenter, writer and drummer based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been a Board of Trustees member since 2014.
Cricket Cooper lead "Teach Us to Care" at our MMC Presenters' Retreat in September, 2015.
Various members of the congregational council are milling about just outside the meeting room, talking about the news, their kids, problems at work. Suddenly, someone bursts into song and invites everyone else to join in.
This is a powerful way of starting any kind of meeting. Here are some reasons why:
A song cuts through the chatter faster and more joyfully than “Okay, people. People? C’mon people. People!”
Singing immediately engages everyone in a joint activity.
Singing together models shared participation and authority and therefore launches a meeting on the right note.
By singing together, the group has left behind the distractions outside of the meeting room and found focus.
Note the value of bursting into song rather than saying, “Okay everyone, let’s start by singing.”
Someone who launches into song takes a risk and thereby invites everyone else to follow in that bit of risk-taking. As the others in the group join in the singing, they feel the power that comes with risk. What better way to prepare for the shared work that lies ahead of them?
So start your next meeting in song. Cricket's song "Teach Us to Care" is a good choice because it has a quiet, meditative quality about it. Here are a couple of other song ideas from our database.