Google Translations

« Leadership and Ethics in the Self-Organizing Emergent Church 1 | Main | Sowing Your Seed... »

October 05, 2005


James Noble

Hi Kester

so, call me a pedant if you will - but the question "leadership in a SELF-ORGAINSING" system seems self-contradictory.

It's like asking who is the "leader" of the blogsphere - or even of the alt.worship blogsphere. what makes them a "leader"? how did they get there?

Well, people like you and Steve are leaders because people read their blogs - whatever you do to draw people counts as "leadership". In any other self-organising system, I think the dynamic will be similar


It's precisely what 'leader' means in this new context that I've been wondering, and hope to bring some thinking to in these posts.

In a world where there are self-organizing systems and networks there is, it seems to me, still a need for some form of leadership. The science of such systems backs this up. But what is vital is getting the nature of such leadership right. Too controlling, and the system dies. Too little, and the system decays into anarchy.

Perhaps, to use a phrase from the books on emergent systems, the leaders' job is to keep things at 'the edge of chaos' - where creativity is free-flowing, people are energised and released, but where some form of order is displayed.

Actually, I'm not sure that this has connection with systems such as the bloge. What I'm hoping to address is leadership of face-to-face communities on the ground, which I am still convinced are the base unit of the church.

David Lindsell

The fact that you can ask that question says a lot.

As I've said before movements make leaders, not leaders make movements.

I started blogging and came here, amiong many other places. Kester could never demand obedience or obeisance.

We'd simply click away, and that's the beauty.

Now where blogging will be interesting and cyberspace will become nasty is when churches catch up. Sermons go online with comment sections.

I didn't see you commenting on my blog today.

Lots of my long-term churchy friends have already started a blogring and it's edging towards that, but they can't make any real claims.

But your pastor checking whether you'd downloaded the cell group notes. Now, that is leadership in blogging.

When house churches started creativity, spontaneity, relationships and celebration of life led to time shared together in God.

Organised churches said "We'll do house church" and set up chairs in a row in a home, covered a table with a veil, put up flowers and a bible on a table and the vicar took his dog collar off, smiled and sat at the front.

Leadership, of the self-organising type, is a spiritual thing. It can be done right, it can be brutally parodied.


Nice post!
I still think we need to dump the word "leader" just because of the inherrant status and role it brings, not to mention the assumptions made by the non-leaders!
And this is the distinction that needs to die too! Leaders and non-leaders, active/passive.
Sorry, it gets on my... erm... man-boobs!

The comments to this entry are closed.