Hoping for Polarity Management at GA221


One of the most influential mental models that I came across during my time serving on the first Mid Councils Commission (2010-2012) was the concept of polarity management. On the recommendation of one of the executive presbyters we met with, I picked up Barry Johnson’s book Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems. You can […]

The Church as Blueberry Pancake


It was either Rocky Supinger or Greg Bolt that turned me on to marketing guru Seth Godin. I subscribed to his blog and read it with interest. I often find in his posts compelling connections or challenges for the church. I’ve considered writing posts that tease out these connections, so here’s a first attempt. Today […]

Our Preferred Connectionalism

Image by Paul Irish

This week I have written a few posts about connectionalism and reform in the Presbyterian Church (USA). If I were to summarize the basic idea I’ve been working on, it is this: a kind of relational networking—as opposed to existing forms of regulated and structured Presbyterianism—is emerging as the preferred form of connectionalism among many […]

Toward a Better Connectionalism

Image by Steve Jurvetson

When asked what it is about Presbyterianism that people most value,  connectionalism always emerges as an essential element of this way of being Christian. Yet no one really seems to know what this means. Some might quote the Book of Order: “Congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA), while possessing all the gifts necessary to be […]

Non-Competitive Christianity (Part 2)

Picture of chains

Yesterday I outlined a vision of non-competitive Christianity that primarily focuses on articulating and living out the gospel as we each understand it rather than engaging in endless polemics with Christians who understand the gospel differently. In a helpful comment, Michael Kruse adds insight and clarity to the marketplace metaphor I evoked. Today I want […]