Learn the Secrets of Building Community

Here you will find resources of knowledge to help direct you in the desire for community in your life.  The focus of this blog is to concentrate on practical advice that reveals insights into how human beings were designed to live and function together.  When applied correctly, this information should bring forth a rich and effective experience of community in your life.

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Moving Coordination From Cooperation to Collaboration

Post 7 of the series “What It Means To Be Organic” exploring Organic Community by Joseph Myers.  The first post is here.

The sixth organizational tool that can be used mechanically or organically is COORDINATION.  As time passes by in every day of our lives, we are constantly coordinating our activities and schedule with the world around us; even the people you’ve never met before but drive behind when you’re out.  If you drive somewhere, you have to coordinate yourself with other cars so that don’t you don’t get into accidents.  Coordinating participation happens differently in organic environments than it does in mechanical.


Mechanical Order Asks Participants to Cooperate

In mechanical order, coordination is achieved through cooperation; and cooperation is an effort to control participation.  Someone creates a plan and then asks you to fall into line and help make it work.  For example, when someone creates a ministry program and asks for volunteers.  Sure, the people may be valued, but the master plan thinker only values them as far as their abilities will serve the plan.  Since the plan is the purpose, the master planner must control the participants to make the plan happen.  By doing this, they unknowingly violate those that are participating in their pursuit to produce a product.

But, people aren’t longing to develop a product.  They are longing to belong.  You don’t ask a person if they want to develop a friendship or a romance.  People become friends or become romantic.  Those relationships grow out of what is experienced together.

Organic Order Synchronizes by Collaboration

In organic order, coordination happens by collaboration.  No individual member is in control, but the group is not chaotic (remember the difference between organic and organic order?).  Collaboration brings about movement based upon synchronicity, like a flock of birds in the air or a school of fish in the water.  Everyone contributes and everyone belongs.

School of fish

People often talk about being “intentional” about community or discipleship or whatever.  This is fine as long as what is meant by being intentional does not involve control.  You cannot intentionally force people to develop community and you cannot intentionally force someone to become a disciple.  The best you can do is create an environment where there is a good chance that those outcomes will occur.

It’s like falling asleep.  You can’t force yourself to fall asleep.  But, you can make yourself really comfortable so that you have a better chance.  Even then, sometime people toss and turn.  If you play rock music really loud, you may have a harder time falling asleep, but this doesn’t mean it won’t happen.  Point: Community can form in many different and unexpected ways.  You can create environments where it’s more likely to happen, and it may or may not.  But the possibilities are endless for where it might spring up.  We can have some control over the environments in which community usually emerges, but we have little or no control over community actually emerging.

God Himself does not force us to do what He wants or plans.  Instead, He calls us into a collaboration with Him that facilitates a relationship.  He invites our ideas, energy, creativity and perspective in the mission to form you into a different being and to expand His Kingdom.  He doesn’t force you into it, but He has created an environment of collaboration that invites you to its becoming.

In the next post, we’ll talk about the seventh organization tool of PARTNERS.

Your turnWhat do you think?  Anything to add?  Questions?  What sort of environments do you cooperate and/or collaborate in?

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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