Sunday, February 19, 2006

Classes, Remodeling, and Church Size

I spent Saturday in Theology class. The teacher is impressively well-prepared, and his syllabus is fill-in-the-blank format. When I have tauch classes myself, this is the method I use, so I'm very comfortable with the lectures. I'm not sure I'm actually in the class yet as the room is at capacity... but we'll see.

Cathy is currently on a liquid diet. Her shots normally cause rashes on her back or limbs, but this week's shot caused no epidermal problems, but gave her several sore spots on her tongue. As a result, Cathy is finding it difficult to chew, so she's been on a liquid diet. Even chocolate milk shakes get old after three days!

I dropped by Chris & Laura's after dinner on Saturday to help with some kitchen moulding... it was half-done when I had to leave for Baskin-Robins' (for Cathy's milk-shake dinner), so I return Sunday afternoon to help them finish up. All the moulding is done, the doors are attached, the hood is venting to the chute, the dishwasher works and the stove is operational! It looks very nice. They'll be tiling the walls, so I'm hoping to learn some skills participating in that regard.

Sunday service was very nice. I actually thouhgt I was early for church but I arrived five minutes late. The message was very well-delivered. After the service I joined a meeting for the media ministry. It was very enjoyable to sit around a table of people with a common purpose who dealt humbly with each other, looking to work together. My technical counterpart, Forrest, looks to be a mature individual with more database experience than I. We may have to switch hosting plans ($2 more a month), but I think we'll have all the feautres the media director wants.

After vacuuming and dusting a home for hours (I'm slow), I dropped by Chris & Laura's. Aside from helping out, I also borrowed Smallville season 4, which Cathy & I will work through in the coming weeks. :-)

I've had a couple of thoughts about churches since attending interning:

  1. larger churches have more money (duh)
  2. larger churches have more complicated problems
  3. larger churches have paid staff
  4. larger churches move slower
A 500-memeber church doesn't have 5 times the budget of 100-member church, it actually has less overhead. In other words, if it costs $12,000 to maintain a 100-member church, it doesn't cost $60,000 to maintain 500 members... it actually costs less. I found this to be interesting. The more money you have, the smaller the fraction that gets taken up by overhead.

However, problems become more interesting... the congregation is not homogenous, so your problems are more complicated. Each sub-group of a church now has more felt needs... so designing just a church web page isn't enough, you have to design a section for the youth. You have parking problems, licensing concerns... yikes.

Oh, yeah... the thing that continues to amaze me is that larger churches can afford to pay people to perform the functions I have done for so long. People actually make a living ministering the gospel, or doing IT for a church. Wow.

Finally, larger churches seem to move slower. In other words, you can't just say, "let's designh a church web site"... it has to be worked out, done on paper, the approved by the elders... The last two church sites I did went like this: "Hey, we need a church web site." "I'd be willing to do that." "Great, get on it." "OK, how's this look?" "That's pretty good! Can we add this?" "Sure."

Well, one thing I'll learn is working in a team, and another thing I'll learn is patience. :-)


  1. Never thought about that stuff... Interesting. :)

    Another thing... chocolate milkshakes get old??? Are you CRAZY!?! ;)

    If you have a Panera Bread near you, I think Cathy would LOVE their Broccoli Cheese soup or Baked Potato Soup. SO YUMMY!! (I checked and there IS a Panera about 9 miles from your home on North Tustin Street in Orange!)

    Hope to see ya soon!

  2. Panera Bread? I have a feeling you're right about them. Cathy loves bakeries, and soup, so this sounds like her kinda of place!