Much of the work of meetings for church affairs and committees will be undertaken by Friends especially appointed by the meeting or committee responsible for the work, most often on the recommendation of a nominations committee. The process of appointment starts when the meeting identifies the need for a task to be performed. It is good practice for a meeting to have a clear view of the tasks that need to be accomplished on its behalf and to fix the length of service required so that both the meeting and the Friend appointed understand the commitment.Quaker Faith & Practice 3.23 paragraphs 1 & 2
Many of our gifts are latent. A particular appointment may enable one Friend to exercise unsuspected abilities. Other Friends may find themselves overburdened by being appointed to service beyond their capacity and experience. It requires great discernment to know the right moment to ask a particular Friend to undertake or lay down a particular task.
Today’s #AdventWord Learn made me muse about where and how I’ve collected the knowledge I have over the last twenty odd years of being involved with running meetings and meeting houses.
Ensuring that all those working within a meeting or other charity, either volunteers or employed have a chance to learn and grow in their roles is important. It also enriches the entire community and gives a chance for those latent gifts to be discovered and developed.
Clear understanding of the work that needs to be done, well written and comprehensive role or job descriptions are invaluable and the promise that support and further training is available ensures that people can offer service without concern.
Woodbrooke offers training for many Quaker roles, as well as spiritual development. Other professional training may be helpful or necessary. A wider pool of people can be found by looking locally for others groups to combine with.
In addition to more formal or required training, the opportunity to get together with others in similar roles is helpful. I’ve written about this in more detail in this post: K is for Knowledge & Knowhow. The importance of ensuring that people are supported while doing roles/jobs is written about here: Z is for Zen. Finally – the one bit of training that all meeting houses need to look into is around catering and kitchens, Quaker meetings are considered food businesses – I’ve written more about it here: K is for Kitchens.