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The Permanent Revolution, by Hirsch & Catchim

With by Skye Jethani. - Reimagining the way you relate to God.

Cracking Your Church's Culture Code, by Samuel Chand

The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's Day, by John C. Maxwell

The Forgotten Ways Handbook, by Alan Hirsch

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, by Brafman & Becksrom

Untamed, by Alan Hirsch

Church 3.0, by Neil Cole

The Shaping of Things to Come, by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost

Monthly Archives: March 2010

I have been challenged with a next step in the mission – to pull back once again and recast the vision in its simplest form. More and more I see the essential things in terms of daily rhythm: The simplest unit – a day in the life of… But what common things are basic enough to connect an entire movement?

We could look at common resources:

  • Shaping of Things to Come (Frost & Hirsch)
  • Forgotten Ways Handbook (Hirsch & Altclass)
  • 21 Most Powerful Minutes (Maxwell)
  • Boundaries (Coud & Townsend)
  • Messy Spirituality (Yaconelli)
  • Starfish & the Spider (Brafman & Beckstrom)

Or common tools we use:

  • Leadership in the Journey booklet
  • Lead-in manual
  • PCI (Personal Craziness Index)
  • Spiritual Gifts Inventory
  • Strengthsfinder

But I think the best thing I have seen so far are the five arms of the “starfish” (my comparison) from the second book on the list:

Jesus is Lord – The central confession of the true Spirit of God in our world, tying together all who belong to Him. This is the core DNA for the whole “fish” coming from the “head”, who lives in every cell of the Body.

  1. Apprenticing – The one thing Jesus gave for His disciples to do – with all the peoples of the world…He would build His Church, we do the disciple-making;
  2. Outward Thrust – The opposite of “in-grown”, we share a culture of engagement with the community, connecting at every opportunity to recontextualize the gospel;
  3. Empowering Environment – Called “apostolic genius” by Hirsch, it is a leadership culture that lifts the lids of everyone involved, giving away power and maximizing strengths;
  4. Decentralized Leadership – Called “Organic Systems”, where leadership culture is allowed to adapt to the individuals and the community they operate in, while still true to the DNA of the movement;
  5. Garden Relationships – Relationships in this movement are forged in the pain of growth, with those who stay recognizing that there is no growth without pain – we value grace all the more because we know the “way out is through”.

My next question is whether this is all simple enough to guide a movement. Please feel free to make comments!


I recently heard an amazing thing about starfish that helps picture the true leadership of Jesus in His Church. It came from a book titled “The Spider and the Star Fish”, by Brafman and Beckstrom. The book refers to “leaderless ogranizations”, but in truth it does not imply lack of a leader, rather, an organic or catalytic leadership culture that draws on the ownership and strengths of all members and maximizes both the body and the individual at the same time.

The DNA for this is uniquely present in the Church of Jesus Christ, which is really organized not by external definition but by the supernatural presence of its one “head” in every member.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27

“Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1John 4:4

While the Bible records that Jesus is the “head”, it also locates Him in every believer, so that like a starfish, which has the ability to replicate itself from every part of its body, every believer has the ability to spark expansion of the Kingdom of God where they live and work. This understanding leaves no room for many of the traditions that have crippled the Church for so many centuries:

  1. Professionalized ministryEvery member has full ownership and capacity for moving the Kingdom forward;
  2. Dualism – There is no way to divide our lives between religious and secular, church and private life, percentages for God and percentages for us;
  3. Leaders and Followers – Everyone follows God and the Lordship of Christ, as well as those that serve with greater responsibility, but everyone also leads, having the Head guy residing in them and empowering them by grace and the gifts of His Spirit.

There is no way to put this aside. It is solidly established in the gospel itself. Let this saok in for a season…I see that it will transform faith as we know it.