Carol referred to this article in a comment on the second Bread for the Journey post. Here is an interesting quotation from the article:
Most organizational leaders assume that centralization (captured in the metaphor of the spider) is the model for success, when in fact decentralized entities (defined by the starfish) are often more successful. "If you cut off a spider's leg, it's crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish's leg, it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish." This is not only a secret of biology, Brafman and Beckstrom claim; it is also the hidden power behind many of the most innovative and successful businesses. This is what has determined the success of Wikipedia, craigslist and Skype. It is why eBay and General Electric have a lot in common with the abolitionist and women's rights movements of the 19th century. It is why General Motors has faltered and Toyota succeeded. All of these successful businesses have featured a starfish model, relying not on a top-down hierarchy but on the power of peer relationships.
So, here are my questions: Who sets the tone for the conversations that must occur in this decentralized model? What does the pastor do? Is the office of pastor even appropriate to this model? Are the specializations (worship leadership, exegesis, pastoral care) worth the creation of a single position to maintain?
In thinking about Friedman's ideas around leadership, and how Tully employs them, self-differentiation in the office of the pastor/priest/rector may be a non-issue in the starfish model. Or self-differentiation places the pastor entirely on the outside of the entire starfish dynamic. Huh. Maybe so.
Larry offered this reflection as well.
What if all the time we spend attempting to ensure our success denies that we are all called to live by faith and not by sight. What if there are no actual technologies to being church, and growing. What if the organic metaphors of Tree and Body tell us more than we worshipers of technique want to believe?
Then I begin to wonder if we don't actually believe in church as something begun and sustained by the Spirit.
I think that Tully would agree with Larry. But I also think that he understands that this process of following the leadings of the Spirit needs someone at the helm...the blind leading the blind? No...A Christ-like shepherd who has been given a vision to lead the people.
And I need to go back to bed. I woke up with my head spinning with this stuff...anxieties about this Sunday's service, etc. Now I exhausted and sleepless. Yay.