For the next few weeks I will be posting reviews of individual chapters in Joe Myers great book, Organic Community. As the title of this book suggests growth within organizations happens best organically, following the natural patterns of human relationships. This is nowhere more true than within the local church. The temptation among pastors, including myself, is to progam community, manufacturing intimacy through the latest curriculum or outreach idea. Myers counters this by directing his reader to remember the following:
“It would do us well to remember that our job is to help people with their lives rather than build infrastructures that help keep institutions alive.” (pg. 27)
Under the pressure to make our institutions viable and bring our visions to fruition we easily forget the impulses that motivated such visions and institutions in the first place. Building community probably can’t happen when we try to create it. Like falling asleep, an analogy that Myers uses, community happens in the right environment and under the right conditions.
Moving from the mode of master planner to environmentalist is the first big shift one must undergo to contribute to the organic creation of community. This is the thrust of chapter one, Organic Order, where I will begin in the next post.