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Man -> Movement -> Machine

Posted by on January 26, 2011

Terra Nova ChurchI want to give a shout out to Terra Nova church, who just celebrated their fifth birthday this weekend!  Good to see God’s blessings flourishing in you!!  Check out their annual report, they did a really nice job putting it together.

I stopped by to participate in Terra’s celebration and heard Pastor Ed talk passionately about his desire to see Terra Nova not grow complacent, but to continue living out God’s purpose in and through people, he illustrated by elaborating on the Man -> Movement -> Machine inclination. 

A church is inclined to follow this process: A man decides to fallow God’s calling.  He starts a movement; encouraging others to join him in a vision that God has given him.  Together they pursue the vision and put programs in place that move people towards the vision.  Over time, the programs became an established, well oiled machine the efficiently helps move people.  Efficient and effective is great, but the trouble with machines is they are temporary.  Machines have short life spans and become obsolete due to their inflexibility. 

I believe this procession is true of all organizations, not just the church.  It’s the reason why organizations struggle to get new things done as they get larger.  How do we keep from becoming an inflexible machine?  How to we continue to identify the changing needs around us and find new ways to meet those needs.  Our nature is towards stability, not flexibility – this is self preserving, how do we fight the tendencies that lead to a lack of flexibility?

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