Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Open social networks

I'm reading a fascinating book right now called The Rise of Christianity. I just read the following quote:
The basis for successful conversionist movement is growth through social networks, through a structure of direct and intimate interpersonal attachment. Most new religious movements fail because they quickly become closed, or semiclosed networks. That is, they fail to keep forming and sustaining attachments to outsiders and thereby lose the capacity to grow. Successful movements discover techniques for remaining open networks, able to reach out and into new adjacent social networks. If we are to better understand and explain the rise of Christianity, we must discover how the early Christians maintained open networks--for it would seem certain that they did. (pgs. 20-21)
Here's why this sticks out to me. I thing that we, as a church (Hub City Church), need to be intentional about keeping open social networks. So, for you personally, how are you doing at keeping open social networks, or is your life just about the friends and community that you already have? And then, for us as a church, how can we make sure we discover and implement techniques for remaining open?


At 4:09 PM, January 05, 2011 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

That sounds like a great book! I can get excited about stuff like that. I think the way our hub groups are set up for the most part encourages the growth of new friendships and an outward reaching network, especially as the groups themselves increase and divide to make new groups. The last couple times we've had people over to our house, I've noticed we're not quite the old group we started out with, and our gatherings are better for it because of the ways we've each grown as we've reached outside ourselves to form those new relationships. I think to the degree that we raise our threshold for awkward interaction, we raise the potential for real community on a grand scale.


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