Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Organic Community as Opposed to Having a Master Plan

Schooling Fish

Originally uploaded by frans.vanderlee

In times of rapid, discontinuous change, we need to develop the skill of adaptive leadership. Joseph Myers in his book Organic Community: Creating a Place Where People Naturally Connect encourages us to move from being master planners to cultivating alive environments. He says,

“Organic community has the human complexities that promote artistry over mechanics. In our worship of “how-to” pragmatism, we have in some cases treated the church as an object and programmed the life out of it. It would do us well to remember that our job is to help people with their lives rather than build infrastructures that help institutions stay alive. Sometimes we focus so much on building a ‘healthy church’ that we forget to tend to the health of the people. Healthy environments are vital – alive. They are not inanimate – dead. When places encourage community to emerge spontaneously, they have motion, emotion, and a living spirit. The goal is not to manufacture community, nor is the goal to build programs. The hope is to watch living community emerge naturally and to collaborate with its environment in helpful healthy ways. The difference between a paint-by-numbers kit and the blank canvas of an artist is the difference between master plan and organic order. In short, master plan tries to manufacture life, whereas organic order is an invitation to live.”

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