The Wisdom of Crowds

Crowds_3 I always find it fascinating when worldly wisdom comes up – “on their own??” – with biblical principles that help change the face of business or marketing, etc. For example, Goggle the word "simple/simplicity" and you will see it influencing anything from web sites to back yard gardens! Many of us are convinced that God wants to “simplify” His church so that it can spontaneously and rapidly reproduce across the earth! This blog is dedicated to that premise. 

Another fascinating discover by the "business world" is written about in the following book.

“The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations”

Here we see a fascinating study of discovering the unexpected: that the average crowd of people –young and old, rich and poor, male and female – are a better and more accurate alterative than the decision making of a few. Below is an excerpt:

“Groups do not need to be dominated by exceptionally intelligent people in order to be smart. Even if most people within the group are not especially well-informed or rational, it can still reach a collectively wise decision. Most of us… believe that valuable knowledge is concentrated in a very few hands (or, rather, in a very few heads). We assume that the key to solving problems or making good decisions is finding that one right person who will have the answer…Chasing the expert is a mistake, and a costly one at that. We should stop hunting and ask the crowd (which, of course, includes the geniuses as well as everyone else) instead. Chances are, it knows.”

The Wisdom of Whole Church

Isn’t this exactly what we see in the early church, when they needed to make a decision about the Grecian Jewish widows being overlooked in the daily food distribution provided for by the 12 Apostles?

Read it for yourself one more time from Acts:

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing [to over 10,000], the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6: 1-7)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could stay ahead of the “sons of this age” in their desire for truth and change? Can we not be bold enough to say that what Jesus said is enough! That the example of Peter
and Paul and the apostles is our blue-print!

“For the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.“ (Luke 16:8)

Yours for the Least in the Kingdom,

Jeff Gilbertson

One reply on “The Wisdom of Crowds”

Hey Jeff, I have just come back from holidays so was late reading this. But I think it is excellent. I think the church, probably epecially the US church, has taken its leadership model more from Hollywood and the Americal political system than from God. The presidential model is killing us (just as I actually think it is killing politics too!).

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