John White had some interesting thoughts on my last blog about infrastructure. I recommend reading them and the comments of others too. His comments referred to the book, The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom which compares types of organizations. Most organizations that we grew up with were like spiders–sever a limb and the spider cannot regrow it. Remove its head and the spider dies because it central nervous system is centered in its head. However, if one of the limbs of a starfish is severed, is not only able to regenerate the limb itself, but as long as part of the central ring of nervous system is included, it is able to grow a new starfish from the severed limb.
These days we are seeing more starfish type organizations–much of what is growing up around social media typifies this.
The house/simple/organic movement, at least in the West, is more like a starfish. There is no central organization that is keeping track of what is going on. There is no superstar to follow or location to visit to see what is going on. The Holy Spirit Himself seems to be in control. One of the most common communications we receive at House2House is the person who says, "We started meeting in our house (or the local coffee shop or our workplace) because that was what the Lord told us to do. We thought we were the only ones doing this until we came across your website.
That is not to say there is no leadership. There is leadership, but for the most part it is relatively hidden and unseen. Sure, some people may have national or even international influence, but they are there to serve the vision of others. The Lk10 website which John White runs is a good example of this. (See http://www.Lk10.org). There are training materials and courses available, books have been written and there are some great blogs.
I also recommend getting hold of Neil Cole's new book, Church 3.0. Neil writes about the growth of a movement from the perspective an insider and he has some great insights. I read the manuscript some months ago and have been quoting it ever since.
Infrastructure will enable the growth of a movement. Tony and I definitely came away from India with the sense that we needed to think about infrastructure and to do what we could to help create more of it; hopefully the Lord will lead us clearly in this. Our sense is that this infrastructure will include training and follow-up from that training, the enabling of communication using all the technical advances that are transforming the way we talk to each other. We are also aware we need to think more about resources, including finances, and how they enable growth within the Kingdom.
Any more thoughts?