Open Source Church by Landon Whitsitt

Landon Whitsitt has a new book out, Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All, in which he proposes Wikicclesia.  (You may recall that I proposed Wikichurch in The New Christians.)  The book looks promising, and I’ll be interested to see how he navigates his notion of open source church with his commitment to the Presbyterian Church (USA) — those two commitments seem mutually exclusive to me.  I’ll read the book and get back to you.  In the meantime, here’s a post of his at the Alban Institute:

At some level, the notion of a “Wikipedia church” —or “Wikicclesia”— makes a lot of sense, even if we have never thought of it before.

Wikipedia: The encyclopedia that anyone can edit

Wikicclesia: The church that anyone can edit

It kind of brings a smile to your face doesn’t it? More important, it touches on a reality facing the church today: Wikipedia is a part of our everyday lives.

via Alban – Building Up Congregations and Their Leaders.

"Have you considered professional online editing services like ?"

The Writing Life
"I'm not missing out on anything - it's rather condescending for you to assume that ..."

Is It Time for Christians to ..."
"I really don't understand what you want to say.Your"

Would John Piper Excommunicate His Son?

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • As soon as I read this article about “hackers” (, I thought of “emergent” theologians such as yourself and the “emergent movement.” You all are the theological hackers of our religious world.
    As you show all the time, I agree that these two worlds – tech and church- are intertwined, and it is only a matter of time, and effort, before we allow this spirit to prevail, and thus change, religious institutions.
    Looking forward to attending SocialPhonics Summer Camp!

  • Hey Tony, I’m looking forward to this one as well. Is your concern about the PC(USA) and OSC related to the church’s structure?

  • ben w.


    I don’t immediately see how this is structurally much different from a free-church, Baptist structure, generally (and seriously, how well has that turned out? [speaking as a Baptist]). Maybe I’m missing the kinds of “edits” he’s suggesting. More importantly, I think every church member in nearly every church structure can already “edit” the church in the most fundamental way: discipling others. Curious as to your findings.

  • This sounds very interesting! To me, wiki-church is more than allowing some people in a faith community to give input. I believe it’s about allowing people of other traditions, streams, and movements to form a new kind of community that’s always forming with any and every new change. A kind of church that is always evolving and reforming by outside forces.

    I agree, how can someone speak of a kind of church that is open while being a member of a bureaucratic church? I still think it can be done. It’s probably his reactionary dream.

    Thanks for info.

  • Mike Poteet

    Like pberry, above, I am curious as to what immediately strikes you about the PC(USA) being an inhospitable setting for a church that is, as the book’s subtitle states, “open to the wisdom of all.” Yes, our structure is rule by elders — but not just the teaching elders (the “clergy” [sic]) but also the ruling elders (ordained “laity” [sic]), directly elected by the congregation.