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Measure in Church Time Dog Years

By Renee Ruchotzke

Pug

Pug

Church leaders that I work with are often frustrated with the slow, almost glacial speed of change in congregational life. What might take a month or two in the workplace takes a year in the church.

Our American corporate culture creates high expectations around "working harder and smarter" and expecting quick turnarounds on "deliverables" whether it be a widget, a report or even a response to an email.

I hope that our congregational cultures operate out of a different ethic and deeper values. I find it helpful to remember that--at most--our lay leaders can only devote one day out of a seven-day week of their time and energy on their volunteer duties.

Another way of thinking of this is measuring the progress of projects in church using the same conversion factor when we measure the lifespan of dogs, i.e. one dog year equals seven human years. So the next time you feel frustrated at the slow pace of church, remember Fido and change your expectations by a factor of 7.

About the Author

Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. As program manager for Leadership Development, she is responsible for providing consultation, programming and training material (including webinars and videos) on...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.