Chapter 3 of Church Turned Inside Out is about "Cultivating Community." I find myself seeing the contrast of what I've experienced in the recent past and what I'm learning presently. "Community" like "Church" can be treated either in noun form or verb form. Noun is information; verb is implementation. One is based on expectation; the other requires exploration. In short, I'm discovering that the exploration is more potent than the expectation.
We could ask that each participant of the ministry team be assessed. Then, on the basis of experiences, spiritual gift inventories, strength-finding processes, and personality profiles, each person would typically be assigned a task in line with the apparent needs of the church. This way of working, however, says nothing about the interaction between the individuals who fulfill their assigned roles, according to their gifting and passions. In this structural model, teamship is assumed but may never be realized, mainly because structural assignments are often made presuming the church is an organization, rather than a true team. Studies prove that this way of organizing does not tend to produce the same quality of work or the same level of satisfaction as a group of people who negotiate real networks, meaning teams who recognize the group as an extension of the concepts of self…Breakthrough ways of thinking, designing, and producing happen best when people recognize the genius of connecting with one another. We know of several churches and networks that are now thinking of the leadership structure as a connected team rather than a hierarchical organization.
By the way, one of the authors of CTIO (Linda Bergquist) sent me an e-mail of encouragement and support of what we're doing with our present situation. My thanks to her for that and for the insight I'm receiving from this new book.