Off the Map Live: Kerry’s Notes from discussion with Joesph Myers author of, “The Search to Belong” and “Organic Community”.

My RAW notes from the discussion Joseph Myers led at Off the Map.

What are your thoughts of the images on a screen:

1. can of sardines

2. fish swimming with a ray of light shining down through the water

  • Life/death
  • Blue
  • Light
  • Groups
  • Etc…

What I want you to see is how you can develop an environment in which things exist.

“inharmonic” – sounds the same but is different.

“If we really knew the God of Jesus, we would stop trying to control and manipulate others “for their own good,” knowing full well that this is not how God works among his people.”

Brennan Manning

“We use our very natue of goodness to excess and it becomes harmful.”

Joe Myers

We get in trouble by trying to use our strength to excess. We so want to use our strength that it destroys.

God doesn’t love us too much…he loves us just enough.

Programmer vs. Environmentalist

Master Plan vs. Organic Order

Organic has to have order for it to be helpful…Joe warns of language that will begin to be used in the very near future in the church that we must be careful. Remember…Organic MUST have order.

9 tools used in an inharmonic way:

Patternsspatial observation

Participationresponsible anarchy

Coordinationharmonized energy

Growthprogressive evolution

Measurementrecalculation matters


Partnershealthy alliances

Resourcesmining wherewithal

Languagefuture lingo

Intentionality in bringing healthy organic order to ones life.

Organizational Tools

Master Plan

Organic Order














Bottom line















1. We measure that which we perceived to be important.

2. That which we measure will become important and guide our process.

3. That which we do not measure will become less important

Joseph Myer’s church in Cinnanati uses community stats as a measurement of whether or not their church is impacting their community. If the stats of the community are not changing then their church isn’t having an impact on the community.

  • Homeless
  • Crime rate
  • Etc…

Be set free from the secret of stat…all stats are fuzzy numbers.


1. Master Plan is Hierarchical Power

2. Organic Order is Revolving Power

“Don’t believe anything I say for more than 5 minutes, because I don’t think I do.”

Joseph Myers

Lead or Power outside of yourself has to be given to you by someone…the PROJECT gives you the power.

In Organic Order…Revolving Hierarchical comes through Revolving Power.

To live in Organic Order you have to give up control…leave your ego at the doors. It’s kind of like someone who is “ball hogging”. Teach each other to share the ball. The most powerful thing you can do is give persons back their power as soon as they give it up.

Cross helping…

There are three keys to encouraging organic order’s spirit of revolving power:

  • The project holds the power
  • Focus on the whole
  • Cross-helping


Accountability vs Edit – Ability

5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

1 Corinthians 13:5

Accounting is about counting.

“Good editing depends on the exercise of good judgment. For that reason, it is an art, not a science. To be sure, in some aspects of editing—accuracy, grammar, and spelling, for example—there are only right and wrong answers, as often is the case in science. But editing also involves discretion; knowing when to use which word, when to change a word or two for clarity and when to leave a passage as the writer has written it. Often, the best editing decisions are those in which no change is made. Making the right decisions in such cases is clearly an art.”6

A good editor makes you better. An accounting role only keeps track.


Models for planning and implementation of growth.

Large-lump models–Incremental Maintenance Patterns–Bankruptcy

(i.e. – a realtor who asks you “what you can afford monthly”)

(i.e. – a church that says 100% of people need to be in small groups – you CAN’T maintain it.)

Piecemeal models—quantum leap growth patterns—sustainability

(i.e. – try a smaller house, try one group at a time.)

If you want to grow something have the fun of not doing it “large-lump”. It is just not healthy for you to do.

Consider these questions before you launch your nest initiative;

1. Now much of our future will this one thing control?

2. Will this one thing that I’m planning deplete all or most of our resources?

3. Will this one thing that I’m planning consume all or most of the community’s life?

4. If what I’m planning fails, will it devastate the whole?

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