What the church can learn from Wikipedia

by Richard on May 11, 2008

What the church can learn from Wikipedia is a fascinating article from Hacking Christianity. Apparently, it is the first post in what will be a series of 4, and the rest should be well worth catching up with.

What if your church structure looked like Wikipedia and allowed for “rough” forms of ministry to try out? Untried, unfinished, possibly disastrous forms of ministry. Doesn’t that scare you? It should…can you imagine our reputation if we let un-thought-thru forms of ministry run amok? (*cough* like sponsoring Halo game nights, anyone?) But if Wikipedia taught champions of Nupedia that dedicated amateurs could be better than professional products, then can’t our ministry initiatives learn the same thing?

Certainly, there’s a lot to think about. However, we musn’t forget that for Wikipedia to work, a considerable amount of effort has to go into the ‘infrastructure’ that supports it. I’m attracted to the notion of a ‘wiki-church’, but we certainly don’t have the required infrastructure in place now, and I admit to not being sure what that would look like. Perhaps it’s my lack of imagination. Second, and more important, although Wikipedia has undoubtedly been a roaring success, the wiki idea does not seem to have really caught on. The editors of wikipedia are a very small fraction of those who read it. Similarly, in the church we talk of ‘the ministry of the whole people of God’, how many church members and friends are really prepared to get their hands dirty with ministry?

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