Saturday, March 23, 2013

Power of Networks

The shift from tree to network affects so many aspects of our life. It may also affect the way we organize ourselves in community. We have known a tree structure with central authority that organizes and coordinates the life and ministry of our congregations. But what happens when we start thinking in terms of networks. Our relationships are our strength as we reach out in relationship with other individuals and groups.
The notion of a community of communities has been gaining strength. Self-organizing communities come together around a common life project of radical gospel living and a common experience of God, community and mission. These groups then come into relationship with others who have gathered around similar or complementary visions. The network affords mutual support, as well as feedback about the quality and integrity of each community in the network. In this way, we can be a blessing to one another, both those of similar orientation, and those with different orientations.


  1. Amy, what an outstanding post. I have to digest it further, but everything that you have said, and that the video underscored, is at the heart of my faith, and the foundation of the social media ministry that I have been called to by God.

    I am reminded parts of Nathan Mitchell's Meeting Mystery, which points to liturgical action, community, networks, comparing them to rhizomes, which seek each other and meet underground.

    Lots to ponder here. Thank you - and peace.

  2. Amy,
    Thanks to Fran, I found this post and am sitting here nodding in agreement. Not only does the concept (and reality) of network best characterize the essential (and historical) nature of Christian spiritual and faith community (think chavurah but it's also more sociologically accurate.

    As a sociologist who works in the ministry of church communications, the emergence and (slowly) growing acceptance of social media has done much to reveal the ways people connect not only minds, but hearts -- beyond denominational boundaries. I have the joyful privilege of seeing this as people on Twitter use the #chsocm hashtag to talk about church and faith.