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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Has the Church Become Too Corporate? » Has the Church Become Too Corporate?

Has the Church Become Too Corporate?

Don - June 10, 2008

The bigger the corporation the more opportunity for it to waste money. Each department or division usually has a budget. They try to increase their budget….gives them power. They then make sure and spend ALL of their budget or they lose it.

They just completed a remodel of our temple. They expanded the waiting area. With that expansion they also decided that the grounds were not pretty enough so they re-did the landscaping. and then while they were at it they brought in several new pictures for the hallways.

Our temple president made the comment in our priesthood meeting that he didn’t see anything wrong with the old ones…neither did I.

The point is, it seems that the church spends money on things that really aren’t needed. Their department either has a budget….or unlimited funds and so they spend it.

I know every year, in the ward, if you don’t spend your budget it’s supposed to go back to the stake/SLC, so everyone scurries around to spend, spend spend.

Do we really need new landscaping again (actually this is the second time for new landscaping), or new pictures in the temple. Who decides these things and why?


  1. Short answer. No.

    Long answer. Everyone says be less corporate until they see something they don’t like and can’t believe the Church would allow. Which pretty much entails they think it’s not corporate enough.

    Really what people want is a non-corporate Church run by perfect people with perfect inspiration that can deal with all the small stuff without error.

    Ain’t going to happen.

    Want to minimize errors in a lay church? Guess what. It requires a corportate structure.

    Comment by Clark — June 10, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

  2. I know the budget “problems” are annoying. I know what it was like having to work within the budgest and try to make everything fit, finding money to spend, trying to spend the money, etc. (ward level, of course) But I don’t think making our Temples more beautiful is a waste of that money. When they painted the Provo Temple spire white and added Moroni (and then did extensive, extensive grounds improvements), it was amazing! It truly is a more beautiful place. And if they had the money, then why not? Sure, if there wasn’t enough funds to do the Humanitarian work…but there must be, because that keeps going strong…

    I’m just surprised your Temple President is so vocal about his disapproval of how the Church decided to spend their Temple money…

    Comment by cheryl — June 11, 2008 @ 7:35 am

  3. At the risk of a thread jack, I was about to give a big YES to the question of the title, but not for the budget and spending angle. I think the church is becoming too corporate in other areas (with perhaps budget and spending as symtoms).

    Comment by Eric Nielson — June 11, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  4. Could you expand on that Eric?

    Comment by Clark — June 11, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  5. Yes in 1968. Hell yes in 1988! F___ yes in 2008!!!

    Comment by Steve EM — June 11, 2008 @ 7:55 pm

  6. Have you asked those who made the decision why? It seems rather more useful of an endeavor than a random blog post none of them will likely see.

    If you choose to do so, I’d be interested in the answer you received.

    Comment by SilverRain — June 12, 2008 @ 3:56 am

  7. Exterior and interior maintenance of chapels comes under FM, Facilities Management. They’re in charge of gettting the grass mowed, installing new carpeting, etc.

    Comment by Bookslinger — June 12, 2008 @ 6:35 am

  8. The longer I am in the church, and the more closely associated I become with local church leadership, the more I think I see the practices of the corporate world working their way into the church. It sometimes seems like the stake and the ward are being run by a CEO than by an inspired minister. There seems to be quite an emphasis on performance statistics and administration.

    THis may just be the currect personality of my current ward and stake, and I think this is more of a local leader issue other than a churchwide thing.

    Or maybe I am reacting badly to what I perceive.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — June 12, 2008 @ 8:40 am

  9. Clark, I appreciate your words. Elder Scott’s words at General Conference really helped me too. It is important to realize that we need to be aware that leaders do need resources at times and policies. They do receive inspiration and we need to be respectful. They have heavy callings.

    Eric, I too have a huge aversion to numbers for numbers sake. However, I do recognize that setting goals and follow up can be important. As the saying goes, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” I heard it said that one of the reasons that numbers are checked is that it is a way to check on the spirutality of a ward if they do such things as their home teaching as it is hard to measure such intrinsic things such as each individuals relationship with God. As someone who has been a visiting teaching supervisor for many years, it does make me ponder that it may be a good way of discerning if people need help. I know that some of my sisters have not been able to visit teach at times due to depression shutting them down. That is just one symptoms. Some people will do other callings in the ward at the same time and not be able to do visiting teaching including these same sisters. But maybe reaching out to another person as a visiting teacher is just too hard for them at this time. Ironically, reaching out to others in a positive way is one of the things that helps depression to lift. However, it is not always easy to take that step when one is depressed. And I am not just talking pop pschology here as AARP had a good article about depression and writing emails of gratitude to others and be connected to others was important. Well, I am rambling but I hope I made a point in there somehwere. I remember meeting with my Stake President when he was a counselor to the previous Stake President and how he said that if all the programs do not help the indivdual then it is in vain as it is the indivdual that counts.

    With my background in small group communication, I remember how it was said that some things are inefficient to be discussed in small groups. For instance, if Michaelangelo had to have small groups to finish his work, we may not have the masterpiece today. However, there is good that comes from brainstorming in many instances. And I think that work brings about good things. I was one to believe in keep going door to door even if you don’t feel inspired as a missionary. I believe God blesses effort and can lead the way. I really feel that God loves me. I don’t know if my leaders love me. I do know that God has given me witnesses that the Church is inspired.

    Comment by Barb — June 12, 2008 @ 11:45 am

  10. I mean, the Church is extremely corporate. Definitely too corporate for me to even consider going back. Also, way more corproate than pretty much every single mainline Christian denomination.

    Comment by Kullervo — June 24, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

  11. What on earth does “corporate” mean?

    Comment by Mark B. — June 24, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  12. In this context, I assume “like a corporation.” As opposed to the usual religious meaning of “as a body of worshippers.”

    Comment by Kullervo — June 24, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

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