workshop: dwight friesen

November 4, 2006

Quantum Kingdom

Dwight Friesen is on faculty at Mars Hill Grad School. It’s looks like I will finally take a class from him next semester, and I’m looking forward to it. Once again the standard disclaimer applies — I doubt these notes will do his ideas, or the others offered through discussion, any justice.

We began with discussion, and these are some summary of ideas that were shared:

With so many of us coming from an evangelical background, our understandings of gospel are growing larger. With that, it makes you wonder what new forms of church will be needed to help us cope with that understanding.

When Christianity becomes issue driven, whether conversions or justice or whatever, we lose the beauty of this faith. It is about being present in an incarnational encounter with the other so that the very life of God is manifest.

Dwight’s Proposal: What if mission and relation were not just values, but structural and organizational ideas?
-Think of churches as silos and the kingdom as networks

Basics of Network Theories
-Nodes – people/organizations
-Relationships – connections between the nodes
-Clusters happen within networks when a node becomes a hub with a number of connections
-What would it look like to think of clusters as unique localized embodiements of kingdom realities?
-The church is Christ-clusters
-Leadership changes to the idea of hubbing
o The best hubs always give away their best resources – they pass others along
o Much like Google pass me on to what I need
-Mission becomes weak links
o The strength of a network is multiple weak links, not just one central main hub
-A hubbing leader finds where reconciliation seems impossible and to go where no one has gone before in making a connection

What is the purpose of the church in the world?
-The Christian calling is “and’ing”
o Wherever there is a sense that there is a divide, we work to bridge it
o Reconciliation is not just between God and man but between men – it is the calling of the church

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