Friday, February 19, 2010

Bigger is Better?

Healthy things grow.
In the absense of real data that shows us how healthy things are...numbers are a decent way to at least keep some sort of info on basic group info.

I agree.

That often ends the argument and we sort of agree that bigger means better...sort of...sometimes...

Two guys that I think are interesting thinkers have recently touched on this question lately.  They're coming from two very different angles...but I just happened to read them both this week and couldn't ignore the similarities.  This is a lot longer than my typical posts - with less Saget references...but I think worth a read.

The first fella was Seth Godin.  He's written a decent amount on this topic lately.  Here are a few things he's had to say:
No More Big Events   "The reasons? Well, they don't work. They don't work because big events leave little room for iteration, for trial and error, for earning rapport."

Viral Growth Trumps Faux Followers "Many brands and idea promoters are in a hurry to rack up as many Facebook fans and Twitter followers as they possibly can. Hundreds of thousands if possible.A lot of these fans and followers are faux. Sunny day friends. In one experiment I did, 200,000 followers led to 25 clickthroughs. Ouch."

The Best Reason for a Big Event  Human beings respond to emergencies and to hoopla. We like doing what others are doing, and we'll suspend social disbelief if we're being carried along by the pack (or the mob).
The challenge comes when we institutionalize the event and make it normal.

Rob Bell spoke about "the Dangers of Video Preaching":
"In the New Testament, there are 43 "one another" passages, and during a Sunday morning service you might be able to practice three or four of them. And as the service gets large, you can probably do fewer. A massive group setting is also dangerous. You can come, sit, listen, and go home and think, I've been to church, even if you haven't practiced any "one anothers." And with video that only gets more intense. I'm not sure that's the direction we want to be heading.

We want to be calling people to deep bonds of solidarity with one another. We may gather in a massive group, but from the stage I often say, "This is just a church service. Church is actually about caring for one another, and serving one another, and speaking truth to one another in love. Don't get the two confused."

The evidence suggests that video can have a fast and broad impact. So what's the alternative?

There is something more powerful than simply beaming yourself into other locations, and that is raising up disciples. Over time that will go farther and faster, but right now it will be more work and slower. With technology today it's easy to spend all of your energies reproducing your own voice, but there is a longer view that says, what if instead of beaming video to those ten locations, we train ten people who can go there and lead? That's a very basic question that should be in the mix somewhere."

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