Here are the details of my presentation "Like a Rhizome Cowboy: The Skinny on emergence principles for network-based churches" given at The Sheffield Centre, November 2004.
(second posting) " Observe the ant", it says in Proverbs. This is what i am thinking about right now and will be teaching this week. I am bringing a few CD-ROMS to give away, with about 15 PDF files with books and teachings on emergence properties, new media, organizational principles through complexity and other issues related to network based churches. Thanks to Dwight Friesen for 2 of those papers (available on his site).
- Did you know that slime mold is a single organism that acts as a multiplicity when things are normal, and as a unity when under attack?
- Did you know that couch grass and potatoes, and other rhizome based organisms, do not reproduce? Instead they find dark empty places and export their roots into them, maintaining unity, but allowing growth and new life. If there is no reproduction or multiplication in rhizome structures, then how do we talk about reproduction in church planting strategy?
- Did you know that the ants do not have a leader calling all the shots, but instead leave pheromone trails for each other to communicate? Of course you knew that - its in the Bible. No professional leadership, but emergence to higher level complexity regardless. Sometimes when i look at the emergent properties of bloggers, I see our hypertext links performing the suame function as pheromones - telling us where to go, where not to go, whats going on.
So if our structures all look like rhizomes, how do we ride them into the future? Obviously, we do it LIKE A RHIZOME COWBOY.
Must go, have a plane to catch.
(original post - 15/11/2004) The name just got confirmed today. My seminar at the Network-Focused Church Planters Conference next week at the Sheffield Centre will be "Like a Rhizome Cowboy". I will be speaking twice in the morning of Nov 24, the session after Bishop Graham Cray.
Topic: We will be exploring how principles of emergence in complex environments can help us understand structural growth in network-based churches. We will be comparing the rhizome structure of the internet, and other organisms, with the network structure of emerging churches, cyber-churches, etc. Should be fun.