Google’s double tithe

I was looking up a BBC story about Google’s outreach to its US and UK Gmail users to test new features; that’s new.

Lots of us love Google because they’re fresh, innovative and productive. The Gmail story points out one of their cultural norms:

As well as being shown the new service ahead of release, we were also walked through the offices where engineers take 20% of their time to come up with ideas and work on them. The 20% time is part of Google’s core ethos.

Give talented people time and support to follow their own ideas and they come up with really great stuff.

I can only imagine what good might come if churches worked the same way with respect to their members and staff members. Of course, it’s a youngish company and has unimaginable resources. But I think there are a munch of churches out there that have untapped resources, or would if they could put aside unproductive legacy programs.

Oh, and another thing. Trusting the power of individuals and networks and toning down the drumbeat of community, community, community. Just a thought.

By Scott Wells

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

1 comment

  1. I have a theory that my church’s happily successful (or is it vice versa?) communications committee does something akin to this. Twice a year, instead of a monthly meeting we have a Sat. a.m. retreat, where we can run rampant with chocolate and ideas. Really, it’s a theme and variation on the process, process, process drumbeat of Leadership School.

    And I hope minister’s have good enough boundaries to carve out time more directly like the Google model for themselves. At least some I know do. But then there are DREs. Heaven help them. We seem to expect five-star service out of them at almost poverty-level wages.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.