We live in an age of networks.
Most of us know that we can’t do anything truly visionary on our own. And if we can, our visions are likely too small. The internet (which is only about 4000 days old) has accelerated our capacity to network with one another.
The internet allows grassroots tribes to come out from nowhere, upending established institutions. You’ve seen this with the Obama comapaign, and you can see it in the rise of new church networks and associations as denominations decline.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve been sensing a rapid land grab for the church network of the future. “Church networks” brings up over 3 million hits on google. Rick Warren says he wants to create the ‘network of networks’, as with many other visionary leaders.
In techie terms it’s the platform. Microsoft Windows is a computing platform, google is an online platform, you could say facebook is a social networking platform. The biggest and broadest rules them all.
There are many advantages to a common platform or network. The economies of scale, standardized best practices, and phenomenal impact. Imagine if David Yonggi Cho of the 830,000 person Yoido full gospel church in Soul Korea asked every person to pick up one piece of trash each that day?
What’s astounding is that at the very foundation of these massive Christian networks, is just one man.
Sometimes I find it hard to tell if our networks are simply reflecting Christ’s heart for unity… or if they’re pyramid schemes of influence?
May the biggest network win…? What do you think?