Posted by: pastordarren | June 13, 2011

Organization Vs. Movement

I came across this blog by Seth Godin entitled Organization vs. movement vs. philosophy. He takes each one of these words and defines them in ways that can apply in many different ways. The first two are below as is the link where you can read the whole post.

An organization uses structure and resources and power to make things happen. Organizations hire people, issue policies, buy things, erect buildings, earn market share and get things done.  Your company is probably an organization.

A movement has an emotional heart.  A movement might use an organization, but it can replace systems and people if they disappear. Movements are more likely to cause widespread change, and they require leaders, not managers. The internet, it turns out, is a movement, and every time someone tries to own it, they fail.

As I read this post, my first thought went to the Statement of Identity of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of which I am a minister. That statement is below.

We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us. (Disciples of Christ Statement Of Identity)

I like the way that the Statement of Identity is worded but wonder if we are trying to be that ‘movement’ through organizational structures that are really holding us back. If what Seth says is accurate, then a movement will have some organization but will be able to and free to replace things that are outdated and not working so that the movement continues. An organization seems to be pretty well stuck.

I think that many times our organization holds us back and that we hold on to much that gives us comfort and security instead of depending upon God. We get bogged down in the process and politics to such a degree, that many times it ends up hampering any movement that we may have started.

In the church, it is not about us and what we want, but it is about what we believe God is calling us to be and do in the world. When we ‘try to own’ the church, then we begin to fail because it becomes about us and protecting what we have built.  We need to discern ways and methods that are empowering for the members of the church (at all levels) and use the gifts that each member has and above all, honors God whom we serve.  I’m not sure the complete answer and it will vary from church to church, but the journey is half the fun, if we are willing to go.

Other members of the Christian Church, what do you think?

What do others think about your situation?

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