I have a pet passion in life. Something I would pursue if I was smarter, better looking, spoke in Esperanto (go SNL Mike Myers!), and had a wardrobe comprised largely of wool coats and pattern sweaters. That pet passion is sociology. My long term institutional academic goals in life include either completing a DMin at Fuller or Gordon-Conwell OR doing a degree in sociology. I digress…

Yesterday I started reading a new sociology book called “The Difference: How the power of diversity creates better groups, firms, schools, and societies” by Scott E. Page. Page says something in the preface that got my attention;

“Distributed problem solving can be thought of as a form of innovation. This opening up of innovation activities to users is sometimes called distributed co-creation. The diverse toolboxes that people bring to problems enables large populations to produce novel breakthroughs. Examples include Lego.com, which encourages users to design their own products, and the T-shirt company Threadless, which allows anyone to design T-shirts. In each case, the best designs get produced and sold, with the designers sharing in the profits. Perhaps most germane to the subject of diversity, the Open Prosthetics Project (www.openprosthetics.org) enlists amputees to help design artificial limbs. The amputees bring perspectives to problems that limbed people do not possess, such as what features will function well for rock climbing…”

What would it look like in the church to be more intentional about using the diversity within our local bodies to grow the influence of the Kingdom in our families, cities, and cultures?

Do we use the diversity present in our midst to innovate new ministry models or have we at times over-professionalized the source of where innovation can derive?

What would it look like to affirm in practice the priesthood of all believers as we engage new questions about contextualized mission?

Your thoughts, suggestions, criticisms… 

(Photographic art by Linma_ia’s, piece entitled “puertagenta“)