74. The Edge of Chaos, Part 3: Slowly, Then All of a Sudden
This is the third and final part of this series based on the book, Surfing the Edge of Chaos. I’ve been talking with Jason Coker about the role of disequilibrium in regard to systems and organizations; specifically, that the experience of disequilibrium actually makes a system or organization stronger.And that goes for churches, as well, since churches are systems. When a church lingers for too long in a state of equilibrium—where everything is, y’know, fine—it actually becomes weaker and more at risk of dying. But when a church experiences disequilibrium at the edge of chaos—and is able to navigate that experience wisely—it becomes stronger, more resilient, and healthier.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Jason Coker shares how he is doing in light of current events, particularly the call for racial justice.The four principles of Surfing the Edge of Chaos are:Equilibrium is a precursor to death. When a living system is in a state of equilibrium, it is less responsive to changes occurring around it. This places it at maximum risk.In the face of threat, or when galvanized by a compelling opportunity, living things move toward the edge of chaos. This condition evokes higher levels of mutation and experimentation, and fresh new solutions are more likely to be found.When this excitation takes place, the components of living systems self-organize and new forms and repertoires emerge from the turmoil.Living systems cannot be directed along a linear path. Unforeseen consequences are inevitable. The challenge is to disturb them in a manner that approximates the desired outcome.Markus explains self-organization using the examples of dental plaque and Tupperware.Jason discusses the non-denominational movement of the 1960s and 1970s as an example of self-organization.As churches are unable to meet in person during the coronavirus, what kind of self-organizing is taking place now?Leaders have to step back and let go of control when self-organization begins to take place.Jason discusses Black Lives Matter as a movement that is unable to be controlled by more established black leaders.To be a strong leader is not necessarily to take control, but to refuse to take control.Jason shares how his church went through a two-year process of discernment that led his church to change their name from First Christian Church of Oceanside to Oceanside Sanctuary.Change happens “at first slowly” and then “all of a sudden.”RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Jason CokerOceanside SanctuaryBooks mentioned:Surfing the Edge of Chaos: The Laws of Nature and the New Laws of Business, by Richard T. Pascale, et.al.Beyond Thingification Study Guide— Links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!