1. “In the Beginning…..”
a. Start the meeting on time. The best way to start on time is to start on time! People are easily conditioned. If they realize the meeting won’t start until most people arrive (20 minutes late), or if they realize nothing important happens until 8 pm, they won’t arrive at 7:30 pm even though that is the designated starting time.
b. Music is not simply to be used as “filler time” until everyone arrives. If you want to have informal singing at the beginning, consider starting 10 minutes before the official starting time. This can create an expectant atmosphere as people arrive.
c. The emcee should come to the front, look at the audience, and wait until it is quiet. Never try to shout over a roar of voices. Speak loudly, deliberately, and slowly.
d. The emcee should have the opening sentences well prepared. Words of welcome and introduction are appropriate.
e. An Example: “Good evening. Welcome to InterVarsity. My name is Joe Smooth. If you are a visitor we want to greet you and get acquainted before you leave. Our purpose for meeting together is to worship God, to have Christian fellowship, and to receive Biblical teaching for our lives. The theme of our meeting this evening is ….. and later we will be hearing from our guest speaker Professor ____________. But first Suzy Singer will come and lead us in a time of vigorous hymn singing.” (Wait until she comes to the front before sitting down.)
2. “All’s well that ends well.”
a. It may be all right for Woody Woodpecker to end cartoons with “That’s all Folks” but it’s not for large group meetings.
b. End the meeting on time and make it a definite ending so that people can leave without embarrassment. It is the responsibility of the Emcee to make necessary adjustments to end the meeting on time. The Emcee should also communicate with the speaker to emphasize the time limit.
c. End the meetings with a sense of closure and completion. This will usually mean allowing some time for response to the main teaching. A time of prayer, singing, silence, questions, or comments by the Emcee may be appropriate.