Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Leading into Organic Community

posted by xscot mcknight

Every now and then I get bogged up in my reading enough that I post some short notices about books that have crossed my desk that I think Jesus Creeders might like to know about but which I can’t blog all the way through. Today I mention another one:
For those who genuinely know what an “organic” community is, or who have participated in a community of faith that grew up organically, what do you think of his listing below?
Joseph R. Myers, author of the well-known The Search to Belong, has a new book. It is in the emersion line of books with BakerBooks. His new book is called Organic Community: Creating a Place Where People Naturally Connect.
If you are seeking to avoid the Master Plan programming model and, instead, want to create an organic environment, this is a good book for lots of ideas. Here’s a summary of the Master Plan programming model and the Organic Order model:
Patterns: prescriptive vs. descriptive.
Participation: representative vs. individual.
Coordination: cooperation vs. collaboration.
Growth: bankruptcy vs. sustainability
Measurement: bottom line vs. story.
Power: positional vs. revolving.
Partners: accountability vs. edit-ability.
Language: noun-centric vs. verb-centric.
Resources: scarcity vs. abundancy.



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brad brisco

posted June 29, 2007 at 5:20 am


Just this week a few of us were discussing how crazy it is that in our “basic training” for church planters the ultimate outcome is that the new planters leave the training with a “master plan,” which unfortunately is describe well with Myers’ programming model. I do believe it served a certain time/model well but we must rethink how we train and prepare new church planters.



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John Frye

posted June 29, 2007 at 6:00 am


Just reading your overview, Scot, still leaves me with a sense that Joe Myers is giving us another scheme for community-creating…I feel the paralysis of analysis. Maybe I will have to read the book.



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Russell

posted June 29, 2007 at 11:09 am


The concepts are on the right track for facilitating organic faith communities. How long before we muck it up though, worshiping the model instead of what the model points us towards?



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Rustin

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:21 pm


Fear of this becoming another ‘model’ is probably why Myers starts with Descriptive rather than Prescriptive.



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Jason77

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:52 pm


I think the list is interesting, but can a planned community really be Organic?



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brad brisco

posted June 29, 2007 at 3:13 pm


Jason, yes I believe we can still plan and operate/function with a dynamic, decentralized, organic, movement ethos; at least I hope we can!



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Peggy

posted June 29, 2007 at 5:59 pm


Organic isn’t about whether you have a plan or not. It’s about the nature of your plan. Does it grow smaller and less uniform but natually “nutrient-dense” fruit using sustainable methods and reproduce with ease? Or does it use artificial methods that bring unnaturally rapid growth but ultimately result in a “harvest” that is “nutrient-starved” and sterile?
The traditional church planting model (forgive me, but this will be a huge generalization) makes me think of cookie-cutter stuff…and I’m not interested in cookie-shaped disciples. Been there done that–for three decades.
My organic church planting model is called CovenantClusters. The image is one of a grapevine with clusters of grapes. Vineyards take tremedous planning. They require very specific kinds of activities. And if cared for well, including regular pruning, they are fruitful for hundreds of years. The plan is one of those simplex ones…simple to understand but complex in that the faithful implementation of the plan has to have all the steps there and in the proper order…
That’s my take, at least….



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brad brisco

posted June 29, 2007 at 8:35 pm


Peggy, I really like CovenantClusters. The Vineyard is a helpful metaphor, much needed planning but certainly still organic.



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Peggy

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:44 am


Thank you, Brad. I sometimes wish I had time to read all these wonderful books…but it is not to be at this stage. I am assuming all you folks know of/have read Neil Cole’s “Organic Church.” It was very helpful to me.



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April

posted June 30, 2007 at 10:07 am


Peggy – I just want to say that I always enjoy reading your comments. As the mother of two small girls (ages 5 & 2), and the host family of our house church, your comments on hospitality this week really spoke to me. I tried to comment on that post, but my comment never showed up. Anyway, it’s encouraging to hear from like-minded women who are a few years ahead of me. Thanks!



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Peggy

posted June 30, 2007 at 6:06 pm


Hey, April, thanks for speaking up! Hope to “see” you here again…keep trying (maybe when the girls are napping :) )
Maybe Scot might look for your lost comments in the realm of the dreaded Cybergremlin ;)



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Peggy

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:02 pm


Scot,
I don’t know how to do the fancy track-back stuff, but Alan Hirsch just posted a review of this book! Thought you might be interested in his take on it.
http://www.theforgottenways.org/blog/index.php/2007/07/02/organic-community/#comment-7332
Blessings,



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Peggy

posted July 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm


In case anyone is still listening here, this link was placed over at TFW…and I thought it might be helpful here, too.
http://www.languageofbelonging.com/



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