Scale-free networking as an option for congregational polity?

Having gone to a Disciples of Christ seminary, the “churches of Christ” (collective noun there) were often depicted as the most conservative of kin, and in a tone that didn’t suggest a lot of love. Or perhaps love mixed with anxiety and resentment. An ex-Christian ex-members of churches of Christ: well, just don’t bring up the subject. That’s been my experience of the churches of Christ to date.

Justin Baeder speaks of the churches of Christ — “not a denomination in the proper sense; while it certainly is a de facto denomination by most standards” — as a “beautiful example of a scale-free network.” Meaning
the nodes of relationship which effectively if informally influence and shape CoC practice.

My “that sounds like Unitarian Universalism” bell went off, particularly since most polity discussion amoung us sound more like the building of a flowchart, and many half-seen stakeholders and institutions are never factored in. (Ministerial study groups, for instance.)

Take a look at Churches of Christ as Scale-Free Networks and comment here or there.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.