Living at ChurchApril 20, 2013
Something that came to mind at the Inspire Justice conference last weekend (not for the first time), is the concept of "living at church". What do I mean by that? Yup: Literally living at church.
Let me back up a step. Something that causes me concern is that there are so many big, expensive church buildings. At this conference, there was mention made of one church doing a $50 million dollar building expansion! In a world where there are so many children dying from malnutrition and preventable diseases
, it causes one pause. As members of a church, can we feel confident that putting our offerings in the plate are the absolute best way to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a suffering world? Are these big, little-used buildings really a core example of what it means to be "the church"?
How much difference do these capital campaigns really make? I was shocked to learn that when people in the church die and leave a large amount of money to the congregation, such as $100,000, it is customary for 90% of that to go to the capital fund. Yikes.
What goes along with this concern is that these buildings have their core utilization, at least in our congregation, between 9 AM and 12 noon on Sunday. That's 3 hours out of a 168 hour week. The buildings do have pastoral offices, a few activities throughout the week, and there are a couple of organizations that use some of the space, but overall utilization remains low.
As a church, I believe we are called to lead by example. We should be able demonstrate good stewardship to the world. Because hey, we are spending God's money, so one would think we'd be pretty careful.
Another realization here is that our church is in a small town where there are not one or two, but THREE church buildings. Can churches in a small town not even figure out how to share their worship spaces so that three completely separate buildings, all low-utilization, are required? Part of me shakes my head at this. Good stewards?
How about parking lots. My home church in Woodstock recently bought a school that closed down next to it so that it could continue to use the parking lot around the school. Cost: Something like $350,000. That's money that could flow right into missions, perhaps enough to double the missions budget for a whole decade, but the money gets tied up in a parking lot. At this Inspire Justice conference in Cambridge, the size of the church parking lot was absolutely massive. Sigh.
The crazy idea is this: Could people live in church buildings? Imagine a family setting up a couple of tents at bed time: One for mom and dad, and another for their two kids. Meals prepared in the church kitchen. Movies watched on the church projector.
What would this look like with 5 families living in the church? Shared day-care. Having other kids to play with. If there were multiple people who "worked at home", it would create a bit of an office environment.
Community. 0-minute drive to church. Shared meal prep a few times a week. Huge cost savings.
Let's take it a step further: What if those families shared their income while living there together, and gave the excess to the church? It almost sounds like Acts.
And yet another step further: Including a mix of low-income families, such as immigrants, etc.
And yet another step further: Include a couple of elderly people who still have their marbles but can't quite take care of themselves anymore?
I wonder whether we suddenly wouldn't have a building under-utilization issue any more, and that might be one of the smaller benefits.
I find this fascinating.BB10 Work Log: January 13, 2013January 27, 2013
Back in the middle of January I decided at the last minute to participate in the Community Port-o-thon. It was a rather busy day of social activities, so not an ideal at all, but it was fun.
I spent 8 hours:
Print: 43 min
PC Keyboard: 1 hr 17 min
Open on Phone: 1 hr 44 min (port of 'Open on Tablet')
Smug Sync: 46 min
Send From PC: 1 hr (new app)
Baby Paint: 25 min
Vendor Portal Autologin: 36 min
Realtime Earnings: 1 hr 13 min (but gave up)
I ended up submitting 6 apps, which should translate to $600, which is a nice perk for doing something I was already intending to do. They were giving out additional BB10 devices to the first 200 people to submit 5 apps... that's what was more the motivation to jump in that Saturday, but as I got going and they reported that they had well over 10,000 apps, I realized that my chances of getting a phone were slim to none.
Anyway, wonderful to have all of my apps that I wanted to port to BB10 done, so that I can move my focus to new things.
I still intend to enhance Flix so that there isn't a need for a helper app to select movies, but I will wait until "launch" when there is hopefully (?) confirmation of whether there will be a native Netflix app.BB10 Work Log: December 31, 2012December 31, 2012
Sneaking in some more development before the end of the year...
Spent 1.5 hours finishing off and submitting my baby names app for BB10.
Signing the app was a bit of a challenge. When submitting the BAR file, it kept complaining that the Package ID had changed. I finally figured out that the id
tag in my bar-descriptor.xml
file was com.daniel.BabyNames
when it was intended to be com.danielbigham.BabyNames