Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Church Meeting Dismality Calculator

You know how it is. Some Church meetings are Spirit-inspired. The attendees are full of fire, vision - but also a humble acceptance and respect for others' point of view. Things get done.

But there can be other meetings. Meetings which go on too long. Or somebody makes an appeal to divine guidance ("I feel God is saying...") without any evidence. Or they appeal to "other people" who agree with them, or have concerns - but they won't name them, to preserve their anonymity. Or the minister pulls rank to ensure nobody brings any more arguments. Or, to put down the rank-pulling minister, somebody tells them that the last incumbent did it so much better.

Until now, there's been no way to measure these meetings' dismality. Until now. Now, thanks to Burton's limited javascript skills, you can measure just how dismal your church meeting was.

(This is a very beta version - all feedback gratefully received).


Length Rating
Divine Guidance Impact
Shadow of predecessor
Silent Majority Appeal
Minister Knows Best
Total Dismality Rating

0-10 - Fairly inspiring
11-30 - Pretty dismal
31-50 - Very dismal
51-80 - Incredibly dismal
81+ - You'd never believe how dismal.


  1. This is genius. Someone should make it into a mobile phone app, so you can tally up the criteria as you go along in the meeting itself and an alarm sounds when you reach critical.

  2. It definitely needs fine-tuning. Our last PCC meeting comes in as only "very dismal". I can assure you it was much worse than that.

  3. Fantastic. Though, dare I suggest that the algorithm might be improved by including the following factors in the mix?
    * Length of service of longest-serving member (in years)
    * Number of items on the agenda (or hymns on the board)
    * Maximum distance travelled to attend (in miles)

  4. Could I also say that I feel God is saying you should add in something about any sum of money being discussed, where the amount of money involved is in inverse proportion to the length of time spent talking about it. (this is how our last minister did it anyway)

  5. Well, mine came in as incredibly dismal, which seems to take the cake so far.

    I have an inbuilt dismality meter. I count the number of times I have to smother a yawn. Normally 50 or 60 times per hour. Unless I'm speaking intelligent lively things of course.

    As the money man, I often see eyes glaze over when I come to give my report. I keep a saucepan lid handy to drop noisily to wake them from their inner reveries or slumber.

    It's always good to mention 'in the red' at the start of the conversation to get their attention, than demonstrate my artful manipulation of the spreadsheet to magically bring it in in green. Offers of an MBE gratefully accepted.

  6. This is actually amazing.

    Maybe it can be adapted to include Deanery Synod as well.

  7. Some further suggestions:

    Sorry, on reflection I've deleted them.

    People who know who I am read this.


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