Churches are slow

An office-mate — for those who don’t know, I’ve worked for the past decade in the non-profit field, not in churches — pointed out a New York Times article about how hard it is to make congregations green. (“Solar Panels Rare Amid the Steeples” by Kath Galbraith. But what lept out was the management issue, not the technology.

Experts say that churches, like other houses of worship, face particular challenges in going green because of unusual architecture and an often slow decision-making culture.

One of the biggest barriers to going green may be the way churches are run. With many volunteers involved, meetings can be sporadic and budgeting processes slow, according to Ms. Moorhead. “Churches aren’t running on the same kind of cash-flow model as a business,” she said.

So when I saw the fun and quirky promotional video for the tea-positive, London-based “church for atheists” The Sunday Assembly, what lept out was the goal to help others extend their work “as soon as possible…” (1:08) I almost fell out of my chair. God bless ’em (or something like that.)

It’s Lent: the time when Christian churches put the focus on slowing down and reflecting. But I wonder when the speed-up-and-finish-the-job season will come; I have to think glacial behavior scares off good, patience-tested people.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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