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What a Difference a Huddle Makes

July 6, 2021

200 plus. That’s the number of morning huddles in different practices I have participated in around the U.S. and abroad. Never underestimate the value of a good morning huddle. Consistently observed, a good morning huddle:

  • Gets more done, production-wise and otherwise
  • Reduces stress all around, and
  • Takes 10 minutes or less, even for large teams.

A few weeks ago, as I prepared a presentation for a specialist seminar at the Medical University of South Carolina, I was “inspired” to make the following post on Facebook:

Only one dental “friend” interacted with the post. They must have all been busy prepping crowns. Surprisingly, many of my Christian “non-dental” friends interacted with the post, all thinking that I was talking about a “quiet time” when that had not even crossed my mind. I could almost hear Jesus saying, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Matthew 17:17, NKJV).

We can take a lesson from Jesus in how He began His day: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35, NKJV).

Jesus had 33 three years on earth, only three of which were dedicated to His ministry of preaching, teaching and preparing the twelve for the birth and nurture of the church. Yet He being very God of very God found it important to make time when no one would disturb Him. He needed focus to commune with and receive direction and encouragement from the Father. The busyness of Jesus’ day did not deter Him from His appointed time. A morning huddle at home prepares the way for the best morning huddle at the office. Martin Luther is famously known for saying, “I have so much to do each day that I could not possibly get it done without four hours of prayer.” Jesus did not shortcut His time with the Father. Neither should I. Appointed time with God fills the rest of our day with minutes that matter. We need hours filled with God-ordained minutes so that we can boldly trust the words of Jesus not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). What gets done today, gets done today. By faith, tomorrow we start over.

One of the neat things about a morning huddle in a dental office is that it almost always brings important matters to the surface that are not reflected on the schedule. How many times have I started my own day with a slavish dependence on a schedule to take me from early morning through the day and back home again? And how many times could I have avoided my schedule falling apart by first asking the Lord what He thought about it?

I’ll never forget a morning huddle in a Florida office many years ago. The huddle had gone well, and we were dismissing to our various responsibilities. All of a sudden, the front office manager who had already exited the break room turned back to us and said, “Oh, I almost forgot. Mr. Smith, the new patient at 10, he’s blind.” That was good information to have. We took a few extra moments to make sure we took good care of Mr. Smith.

The Lord knows all the people on my appointment book before I leave the house. He knows the people who are going to slip into my day whom I have not even thought about. He knows about the blind people I will encounter and is ever willing to help me prepare such that I will not be a blind leader of the blind so that we don’t “…both fall into the ditch” (Luke 6:39b, NKJV).

My morning huddle at home prepares me best for the morning huddle I lead at the office. It’s well worth rising up a long time before daylight.

Steve Cartin, MDiv

About Steve Cartin, MDiv

Steve Cartin, BS, MDiv, served as an ordained Pastor for 28 years, serving bi-vocationally while working in the dental community. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was initially trained in Practice Management by Cathy Jameson. Steve provides coaching, consulting and remote insurance verification services through his brand, Dental Office Support ( and is a Master Trainer and Certified Coach with Lead Like Jesus ( . He and his wife, Sandra, live in Graniteville, SC and enjoy fellowship and service in their local church and with dental professionals everywhere.

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