Green Eyeshades and Rose-Colored Glasses

Congregational budget-makers frequently divide into two
camps that approach the task in different ways. The first camp is
likely to include children of the Great Depression, experts in finance,
elementary school teachers, and persons anxious about their own money
situation. Their first priority is to make sure that the budget
balances and that the congregation makes no plans or commitments it is
less than 100 percent certain it can meet. They squint over budget
sheets like bookkeepers of old with their bright lamps and shoulder
garters—I call this camp the Green Eyeshades.

The second camp typically includes young clergy, upscale
decorators, Baby Boomers, college professors, and commission
salespeople. They firmly believe that with God (or even without God)
all things are possible. They say, “We are a congregation, not a
business.” This camp can be identified at budget meetings mostly by
their absence. When shanghaied into talking about money, they glaze
over. Staring at a distant sunrise, they float over the surface of
numerical reality—I call them the Rose-Colored Glasses.

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