Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Organism And The Organisation

Notes taken at a seminar led by Revd Mick Woodhead today:

The church is an Organism. It grows. Nothing stops growth as effectively as leaders exercising too much control – pulling up plants before it is clear what they are. Organic growth requires “low control, high accountability” – leaders who don’t make all the decisions, and followers who are open with their leaders about the decisions they have the freedom to make.

The church requires Organisation – it is the bed that frames the flowers, the watering and fertiliser as needed. Church organisation exists to serve the organism. It needs to be “light-weight, low-maintenance” so that it can respond to the organism’s lead – the organisation spreading out in seasons of organic growth so as to provide support, shrinking back in seasons of organic dying-back. If any part of the organisation doesn’t serve the organism, get rid of it; otherwise, growth is constrained, decline sets in.

Three key things to foster, for yourself and those you lead:
Lifestyle (of discipleship – at St Thomas’, ‘Lifeshapes’ tools for processing our lives as disciples);
Structure (community for mission/growth – at St Thomas’, ‘cells’ gathered in ‘clusters’ gathered in ‘celebrations’);
Accountability (support/investment for leaders – at St Thomas’, ‘huddle’).

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