Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Is Your Church An Object?"

This blog post, by Michael Fleming, was so good I asked him if I could post it here on this site too. Am so thankful that he said yes -- it is worth the read. If you would like to follow his continuing discussion on this and other topics, you will find him at:


"'People seem to be longing for a more organic approach to life -- even church life.'" -Organic Community by Joseph R. Myers

"Many churches have become objects by having the life manufactured right out of them. This happens when mechanical infrastructures are built with the intent to help it stay alive. This kind of manufacturing intends to control the future with a mechanical plan. It's an attempt to create a controlled-system environment. There is a part of humans that tends to like this because it makes the future seem safe and secure. But they are often disappointed because mechanical plans require that things be done today based upon predictions of what will happen in the future.

"The problem is . . . we can’t predict the future. Mechanical plans are appropriate when it comes to manufacturing inanimate objects, which is what many churches have become. But developing something with life, such as community, requires the flexibility of organic order.

"For example, a megachurch lays out a master plan for the next ten years of growth and prosperity which inspires them to pay $20 million for a new building in the present. They acted in the present upon a mechanical plan that contains assumptions for the future; namely that their attendance will grow and those that attend will not only have the money, but voluntarily give it for the maintenance of the building and the paying off of its debt. If anything comes along to threaten their mechanical plan, they will act in a way as to protect and preserve that plan. They have a manufactured environment.

"Eliminating the manufactured environment is not a call for chaos. There still must be order, but that which contains life must be contained within organic order or it will die. There is a difference between being organic and organic order. It is the difference between an infant’s response to her body’s need to release waste and her father’s need to do the same. If her father were to respond to this need in a strictly organic way, he too would need diapers. Thankfully he has developed an order for an organic process.

"In the coming days, we'll be looking through the book Organic Community by Joseph R. Myers at nine organizational tools will help you discover whether you are a part of a mechanical order approach or an organic order approach. Then, hopefully you will start to shift to an organic order approach to create environments where people naturally connect and become an organic community. "

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts