I discovered a blog post from Andrew Jones’ Blog this morning which he titles Emergent Wisdom For Churches #1, and references an earlier post titled Like a Rhizome Cowboy… both of which deal with what he calls “emergence principles for network-based churches”, also the subject of a presentation he made last month.
These posts put me in mind of Metcalfe’s Law, which states basically that the value of a network grows by the square of its connections. This, of course, relates to my recent post and article titled The Beauty of Broken Systems proposing a church structure not unlike that of the Internet – made up of peers, somewhat disjointed, inherently broken… but incredibly robust, versatile, and valuable.
Andrew Jones (aka TallSkinnyKiwi, links above) presents a very similar thesis using examples from biology and botany (he mentions the Internet but without the specifics which I have offered), so this makes a good companion to my piece (or vice-versa; again, links above). I’ve been musing about a structure of church that fits this model for about 8 years or so now since I first had the vision for it… presently I’m working on an article to describe it and hope to post it soon. These things are the “threads” through which God speaks, and I don’t expect that my thoughts are entirely original, but this is precisely what lends them additional credence. The fact that God can speak the same message to different people that have had no prior contact on the subject and who can then connect those threads just serves to underscore the primary point about the value of this type of network structure. And naturally it encourages me that either I’m not off my nut, or that I am but it’s okay, I’m not alone. Right now I’ll settle for that.