My wife recently started composting. Another way to say that sentence is “We’ve got fruit flies in our house.” I guess we left an orange too long in the fruit basket and didn’t run it out to the big black plastic Empire Strikes Back looking composting box in the back yard fast enough because a crew of fruit flies has moved in like the Jeffersons.
And I’m fine with a few fruit flies. If that’s the cost of me personally saving the earth that’s a fair trade, but these fruit flies have attitude. I recently heard some of them humming the song Hotel California as if they could never check out of our house and sometimes I’ll find them in rooms that have nothing to do with fruit.
Like why are fruit flies in the shower with me? Rarely, and I mean rarely, will I just carve up a pineapple in there and yet, as I reached for the shampoo the other day, a fruit fly flittered across my field of vision with a look on it’s face like, “Yo. Give me some directions back to the kitchen. Pronto.” (I have really good eyesight.)
Hopefully, the church I attend, North Point Community Church, will be smarter than I am when it comes to embracing the color “Green.” It’s a pretty popular thing to do right now, which is great. But I’m not sure we’re doing enough. Sure we’re recycling more and printing less church materials and finding little ways to help the planet throughout the church, but maybe there are some untapped methods we’ve forgotten to look at.
What if in order to “go green for God” we tried the following things:
1. Harness the energy of the Haters.
I think that we’re missing a tremendous source of untapped energy—complainers. If we could find a way to harness the grumbling of a handful of people Sunday after Sunday we could probably power the East Coast of America for a few years. Instead of trying to convert haters into nice people, convert them into energy. When they come into service, ask them to wear some sort of backpack battery device. As the service starts and they start grumbling, “I’m not being fed enough here. This music is too loud. This music is too soft.” the backpack will capture all that wasted energy.
2. Make people earn their energy at church.
I’m not sure that every room during Vacation Bible School deserves to have the lights on and enjoy nice, cool air conditioning. Kick the VBS decorating wars up a notch by rewarding the people that win. “That’s a really cool Noah’s ark mural this class painted on the wall for VBS. Here, have some air conditioning. Oh, looks like this class just taped up a sad little poster that came with the VBS kit we bought online. I’d wear a tank top tomorrow if I were you, because it’s about to get hot in here.”
3. Stiff arm the bulletin hander outer.
I usually give my bulletin back at the end of service because I take all my notes in a Moleskine notebook, but maybe I shouldn’t even take one. Maybe I should stiff arm the bulletin hander outer when she tries to give me one with a look on my face that says, “What do hate the planet so much?” And then I can blame her for printing the bulletin on ink repelling paper making it impossible to take notes. And then I can get my own hater backpack and power the youth group room for three weeks with the energy from my grump. Circle of life. Circle of life.
4. Draw power from book burnings.
Maybe you are old school and still holding “these things are of the devil” bonfires. If so, don’t let all that holy fury go to waste. At the bare minimum, use the fires generated from torching your Desperate Housewives DVD collection to boil soup or something.
It’s doubtful any of these will take off and sweep the nation. But hopefully you have better ideas.
How should the church be more green?
Is your church doing anything like recycling, composting, solar powered bonfires etc.?