I’ve been a critic of denominations. That’s not because the people who work for denominations are bad — in fact, just about everyone I know who holds a denominational position is a good, loving, Christ-centered person. I have great respect for them.
It’s not the people that is the problem, it’s the bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is bad for the gospel. Bureaucracy is good at sustaining itself, but only for its own sake, not for a larger, more noble purpose like the gospel.
I think that denominations might take a lesson from a new kind of company in America. These companies are being founded and funded, but they have no managers.
Medium, a new tech company started by one of the co-founders of Twitter has no managers:
But Medium isn’t just taking a revolutionary approach to digital publishing – it’s changing the way companies operate too. As one of the fiercest and most faithful adopters of Holacracy – a radical new theory of corporate structure – Medium is experimenting with a completely management-free environment that’s laser focused on getting things done. Stirman couldn’t be more thrilled with the results: the freedom, the momentum, the productivity are all unparalleled, he says.
Here’s a graphic that shows how Holacracy, the idea on which management-free companies are based, works:
It’s a fascinating development in the for-profit world, and I’d love to see it adopted by denominational people.
Holacracy is a distributed authority system – a set of “rules of the game” that bake empowerment into the core of the organization. Unlike conventional top-down or progressive bottom-up approaches, it integrates the benefits of both without relying on parental heroic leaders. Everyone becomes a leader of their roles and a follower of others’, processing tensions with real authority and real responsibility, through dynamic governance and transparent operations.
Does that not sound like exactly how Protestants should be organizing church structures?
Anyone out there willing to try it?