Open source church

Landon Whitsitt writing for Alban Institute compares church to Wikipedia:

Wikipedia: The encyclopedia that anyone can edit

Wikicclesia: The church that anyone can edit

…how do we as the church expect to be the least bit appealing to people who increasingly go throughout their day knowing that they can “wiki it.” Anyone anywhere can log on to the Internet and edit the world’s largest encyclopedia. They can contribute to the “sum of all human knowledge,” as Wikipedia describes it. They can offer their gifts of knowledge to the world and to generations to come. Yet we expect them to walk into our churches and simply take what’s handed to them and do it the way we say they should? I don’t think so.

….what if you come to the church with an open source view of the world? What if your entire life was one in which you experienced a collaboration of gifts, skills, and knowledge? What if, almost every day, you experienced the coming together of seemingly disparate voices and ideas that resulted in beautiful and tremendously effective and meaningful events and solutions? What if this was your world, and you then walked through the door of almost any church, where it quickly became apparent that your job was to sit down and shut up—that your job was to listen and be spoon-fed what you needed to think and believe? To ask the obvious question again: Why is it that I can edit the world’s largest encyclopedia, but I can’t edit church?

If we want to appeal to the “open source generation” (is there such a thing?), we can’t be wedded to our current understanding of church structure. Our bureaucratic committee system will betray our true intentions, and that will repel those whom we hope to attract. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Maybe Whitsitt is right, but for me sometimes there is something lovely about experiencing a container that has been build over the course of 2000 years.

What is your reaction to an open source church?

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