Monday, April 17, 2006


At CTK we have chosen to be interdependent for the sake of our mission, rather than dependent or independent. Most of us have very little previous experience working interdependently, as part of a network. Our modern culture (churches included) has reinforced the Darwinian belief that the central fact of life is competition, rather than cooperation. Modernity’s motto is “I’ve got mine” instead of “All for one, one for all.”

Christians resist deeper levels of interdependence, not because interdependence isn’t preferable, but because it is more difficult (I have found American Christians to be a lazy breed). Human nature tends to default to “stovepipes” and “silos.” Indeed we are finding that interdependence requires some things that independence does not. In specific it requires higher doses of trust, others-orientation, communication and wide-angle point of view:


Quote: “The new dependence on productive assets located within someone else’s state represents an unprecedented trust in the integrity and peacefulness of strangers.” (Richard Rosecrance, The Rise of the Virtual State)

Takeaway: You can not be distrusting, or fearful, and function in an interdependent way.


Quote: “One of the most exciting sports experiences anyone can have is watching a team catch fire. Perhaps as a basketball game begins, the players on one team seem to be operating independently of one another, mechanically going through their routines, in effect competing among themselves. Then they suddenly undergo a transformation. One of them makes an inspired play that leads to a basket: At this instant a bifurcation point becomes amplified. Now the moves the players make seem coupled together, all five team members working like a single organism.” (John Briggs, The Seven Life Lessons of Chaos)

Takeaway: You cannot be self-seeking and function in an interdependent way.


Quote: “What’s the biggest problem in the world of security today? Simple. The CIA won’t talk to the FBI.…who won’t talk to Customs….who won’t talk to the INS…who won’t talk to the Air Force….who won’t talk to the Army….who won’t talk to the Navy. (And the few who do choose to talk across walls are seen as ‘disloyal’ to, say, ‘200 proud years’ of Army or Navy tradition). And so on. Fighting ‘virtual states’ like Al Qaeda, demands seamless (Big, Big Word) integration of our domestic and international security forces. In fact, integration of the civilized world’s domestic and international security assets.” (Tom Peters, Re-Imagine)

Takeaway: You cannot be isolated and function in an interdependent way.

Wide-angle POV

Quote: “Reactive learning is governed by ‘downloading’ habitual ways of thinking, of continuing to see the world within the familiar categories we’re comfortable with. We discount interpretations and options for action that are different from those we know and trust. We act to defend our interests. In reactive learning, our actions are actually reenacted habits, and we invariably end up reinforcing pre-established mental models. Regardless of the outcome, we end up being ‘right.’ At best, we get better at what we have always done. We remain secure in the cocoon of our own worldview, isolated from a larger world. But different types of learning are possible.” (Peter Senge, Presence)

Takeaway: You cannot be narrow-minded and function in an interdependent way.

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