In May the governor of Minnesota appointed my wife to serve as a Minnesota district court judge.

Since then, she has been preparing for her new job by reading thick binders filled with information for new Minnesota judges. Included among the reams of information was a page titled “Ten Commandments for the New Judge,” written by the Honorable Edward J. Devitt.

My wife read the commandments to me, and I immediately thought they could be applied to new religious meeting planners. So here is that list of commandments, adapted for you, the new religious meeting planner:

  1. Be kind.
  2. Be patient.
  3. Be dignified.
  4. Don't take yourself too seriously.
  5. A lazy meeting planner is a poor meeting planner.
  6. Don't fear criticism of your meetings.
  7. There are no unimportant meetings.
  8. Be prompt.
  9. Use common sense.
  10. Pray for divine guidance.

I think the fifth commandment — A lazy meeting planner is a poor meeting planner — could be the first commandment, because a lazy meeting planner quickly will become an unemployed meeting planner.

I think the sixth commandment — Don't fear criticism — is an important one, because criticism opens up a window to learning.

I think the seventh commandment — There are no unimportant meetings — is critical. Within the religious realm, every gathering of the faithful contains the potential for tremendous personal and organizational growth. Never forget that even the seemingly most mundane religious event could change someone's life.