Learn the Secrets of Building Christian Kingdom Communities

Here you will find training help and resources for individuals and groups that desire to live in Kingdom community.  The focus of this blog is to concentrate on practical advice that helps groups with the execution of their Christian life together.  It’s purpose is to increase the population of Kingdom communities, and to teach them how to function together in a healthy manner.

Moving Partners From Accountants to Editors

Post 8 of the series “What It Means to Be Organic” exploring Organic Community by Joseph Myers.  The first post is here.

Mechanical Order Holds Participants Accountable

The seventh organizational tool that can be used mechanically or organically is PARTNERS.  In mechanical order, partnerships operate by accountability.   Accountability is a huge buzzword in Christian circles. When someone gets into trouble or “falls” into a sin, you routinely hear others claim that a likely reason was that no one was holding that person accountable.

If you look up accounting in the dictionary, you’ll find that it is a system involved in recording, analyzing and reporting results.  This system is essential and works great when applied to business organizations (inanimate objects), but isn’t healthy when applied to relationships.

Accounting

Why?  Holding someone accountable doesn't lead to change.  This is because when it’s applied to relationships, all it does is keep a record of actual behavior versus desired behavior, without encouraging or training in spiritual development (discipleship).  Typical accountability exercises are simply exercises in reporting.  What’s the point of reporting our behavior if we’re not participating in healing activities?  After all, changed behavior is not really what we're after.  Behavior is simply a symptom.  Disciples are after a healed soul.  Regretfully, many mistakenly think that accountability and discipleship are the same thing.

The typical accountability group gets together and asks each other the “hard questions” like “What sins did you commit this week? Was your thought life pure?  Did you give money to the Lord’s work?”  Being an accountant is totally ineffective in relationships.  The only way that we are transformed into the image of Christ is to eat and drink of Him.  All that an accountant does is reconcile to rules without providing any insight or path to wholeness.

Organic Order Helps Participants Get Healthier

In organic order, participants act like editors instead of accountants.  An editor helps to progress toward healthier results by reconciling to oneself, community and God. In writing, an editor's job is not to take the author's work and correct it by showing them all the mistakes they've made.  Instead, they are to help the writer more clearly and concisely express what it is they are attempting to communicate.

Editing

In community, “editors” collaborate to work toward a healthier life rather than ask the person to cooperate with a standard.  True organic community works by edit-ability, not accountability.  People don’t audit other people’s behavior and condition, but rather help them to health along the journey with a generous spirit of grace.

As we eat and drink of Christ, we are transformed into His image as His life becomes our life.  His life works through each participant in the community to “edit” all that partake.

In the next post, we'll talk about the eighth organization tool of LANGUAGE.

Your turnWhat do you think?  Anything to add?  Questions?  What was your experience with accountability groups?  How do your edit-ability relationships work?

The first post in this series is here.  The next post is here.

(Disclaimer:  The content of this post is the post author’s perspective on the book selection’s content and not necessarily the opinion of the post author.  To purchase the book, use the link below)

Organic Community by Joseph Myers

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Moving Growth From Forced to Emerging

Post 5 of the series “What It Means to Be Organic” exploring Organic Community by Joseph Myers.  The first post is here.

Mechanical Order Forces Growth That Depletes Resources

The fourth organizational tool that can be used mechanically or organically is GROWTH.  In mechanical order, growth is forced upon a community in a “large-lump” sort of way.  Typically the way this plays out is that a master planner develops a master plan that requires implementing big changes that have been perceived to be the solution for achieving different results.  The plan controls the community by requiring growth in massive chunks.

 

Massive Growth

 

This happens all the time as new movements are continuously started touting the latest model for church growth.  All of a sudden someone has an idea that “works” somewhere (although they are likely focused on  measuring numbers and not story), and a wave sweeps across church organizations looking for different results than they’ve experienced.  They jump on the new ideas and develop a master plan for making it work; typically by taking a model and trying to clone it.  Then, they launch it upon their community believing that it will accomplish whatever it is they are hoping for.  But, if what is hoped for involves life, it will lead to bankruptcy.

Why?  This method of growth typically requires most and sometimes all resources up front for very large growth spurts, leaving the community depleted and unable to support the natural growth that the life of the community would generate on its unique journey.  One great example of this is when churches take out loans to build bigger buildings while “trusting that God will provide.”  That sounds nice and religious, but the reality of what’s going on is they are painting their own picture and asking God to color it in for them.

Instead, God asks us to let him paint His picture through us.  He emerges His plan out of His life within a community.  That’s how life operates; and He is Life.  If He gives you vision, it’s not your place to jump ahead of Him, make the vision happen prematurely and then ask Him to make it work.  It’s His place to bring His vision to pass as you take your rightful place as His instrument.

Why are we so attracted to mechanical order growth?  In our culture, growth is an expectation tied to performance.  We are convinced that growth equals success.  We associate faster growth with better performance and we’re willing to sacrifice the life of the community for it by instituting mechanical methods of making it happen.

 

Bankruptcy

 

Organic Order Waits for Growth to Allocate Resources

In organic order, growth is sustainable and generative.  It happens in a “piecemeal” sort of way.  This happens when an environment is given freedom to move forward in small steps as it adapts itself in change.  The amount of resources used in the environment is just enough to sustain what the community needs; leaving the rest for when momentum has built and the community is ready to grow.  Then when that time comes, only enough resources are used to support the incremental growth.  In organic community, life determines growth and growth determines resource allocation.  In the long run, this organic model of growth is both sustainable and leads to better health long-term.  You just have to wait longer for it.

Growth is mysterious.  It is something that we don’t and can’t have control over.  When we try and control it, we squash it.  Sometimes a living thing will lie dormant before something activates it.  It’s these dormant periods that are so hard for humans that connect success with growth because they bring the temptation to take control and institute master plans with mechanical order.  Organic growth requires giving up control and accepting the life of the community (in the case of churches, Jesus Christ) as the source for growth.

In the next post, we’ll talk about the fifth organization tool of POWER.

Your turnWhat do you think?  Anything to add?  Questions? Have you ever experienced forced growth that caused bankruptcy?  How about emerging growth that led to sustainability?

The first post in this series is here.  The next post is here.

(Disclaimer:  The content of this post is the post author’s perspective on the book selection’s content and not necessarily the opinion of the post author.  To purchase the book, use the link below)

Organic Community by Joseph Myers

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