Help with Timing Issues

It seems normal to be perpetually running 5-10 minutes late.  Somehow this has become an acceptable way of doing things, a trademark of our busy American culture.  However, this isn't a great way to live out Philippians 2:3-4 (valuing others).  Instead, we should aim to demonstrate a respect for the people in our group by showing respect for their time in a tangible way: by starting and ending on time.  

Starting on Time

We don't say it out loud, in fact we don't even consciously think it, but when we show up late or start late, we are essentially communicating that "I value my time more than yours."

As leaders, we have the opportunity to set the tone for a positive, punctual environment, where respecting one another's time is simply a part of the group dynamic.  Starting on time will help train your group members to show up on time (or maybe even early?!).  Hint: snacks set out early can help.

Ending on Time

Stopping your meeting on time is another way to communicate that you value their time and their families; just ask any parent with young kids needing to go to bed or a babysitter waiting to be relieved.

Additional face to face conversations outside formal group time can deepen community. As leaders we want to encourage this.  By ending on time we allow for these additional conversations to happen casually while those who want or need to leave feel the freedom to head home.  

We also recognize that a sensitive discussion topic, difficult prayer request, or unforeseen situation might cause us to go beyond our meeting time occasionally.  But let's make that the exception, not the norm.