Any architect today knows about sustainability (specifically LEED). From our point of view it is how “green” buildings are. How much storm water run-off the building has, how reflective the roof is, how much of the insulation is made up of post consumer waste, how much day lighting is allowed, and the list goes on (and on). I am studying for the certification test right now and the binder is a couple of inches thick, chalked full of very boring material.
Going through the material, I have been pleasantly surprised that most of it is comprised of very practical, very smart issues that should be addressed when designing any building. It usually inserts an opportunity to think about buildings for their entire life and how their life and death better interact with the world around them.
I hate that ideas like environmentalism have been high jacked by extremists who at best worship the environment and at their worst hate man for ever existing. Contrasted, the philosophy of sustainability is as mature as environmentalism gets. It is about balancing our relationship with our environment through both understanding our impact on it and providing better conditions for both our lives and the environment. IMO Christianity should be jumping all over this new terminology of sustainability, but I am probably still in the minority when it comes to the church having anything to do with environmental issues.
Does the idea of sustainability have any place of importance within the church? Not just passively but should we be actively putting time, energy, and recourses to understanding and maintaining our natural world?
As a church member what would your reaction be to hearing that your new church building was trying to be LEED certified? Would you think that the church is throwing money away, money that should be used to not incur debt, pay the pastor, or go to missions?