The Starfish and the Spider: Book discussion for Wednesday June 13

Our book discussion for "The Starfish and the Spider" will take place on Wednesday, June 13. If you don't have the book, but you would like to participate in the discussion, here is an excellent summary of the book: http://community.mis.temple.edu/mis3538b/files/2011/09/Starfish-and-Spider-Ori-Brafman-Summary.pdf. The book, "The Starfish and the Spider," is written from a secular point of view. Therefore, I decided to give us some things to think about by taking quotes from the book and relating them to passages from Scripture.

"Instead of a chief, the Apaches had a Nant'an -- a spiritual and cultural leader. The Nant'an led by example and held no coercive power. Tribe members followed the Nant'an because they wanted to, not because they had to." (p. 20)

"Although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became little children among you. Like a nursing mother caring for her own children, with such affection for you we were happy to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us." (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

"Rather, Bill served to catalyze a new idea and then got out of the way. He left his organization without a central brain and, in so doing, gave it the power to mutate and continually alter its form." (pp. 40-41)

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7) "The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)

"Also, in terms of policy [Craigslist], the categories we have almost one hundred percent were generated by people in the community. We tried to figure out what people were asking for -- and we moved on that. I think that the initial idea over ten-plus years was mine. The rest of it was just listening to people and providing the infrastructure to that. Another thing is a culture of trust that works out very well." (p. 65)

[We listen best to people by first listening to God]: "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the king will answer them, 'I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.'"  (Matthew 25:37-40) "Now in those days, when the disciples were growing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews against the native Hebraic Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the twelve called the whole group of the disciples together and said, 'It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. But carefully select from among you, brothers, seven men who are well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.'" (Acts 6:1-4)

"But on a deeper level, Craig doesn't sell his users out. Getting out of their way and offering them what they're asking for has created the level of trust and community that everyone talks about. And after all, Craig is a customer service guy." (p. 68)

"Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself." (Philippians 2:3) "After he sat down, he called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35)

"This brings us to the seventh principle of decentralization: put people into an open system and they'll automatically want to contribute." (p. 74)

[For the church, we contribute through God's grace given through the Holy Spirit - not by being assigned ministry slots in programs developed by church leaders]: "And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." (Hebrews 13:6) "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me." (1 Corinthians 15:10)

"On the one hand, there's freedom to do what you want, but on the other hand, you have added responsibility everyone becomes a guardian of sorts. You become responsible for your own welfare and that of those around you. In open systems, the concept of "neighbor" takes on more meaning that just the person next door." (p. 80)

"Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)

"When you give people freedom, you get chaos, but you also get incredible creativity." (p. 81)

"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them." (Acts 2:4) "But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." (Romans 7:6)

"That's the thing about circles: once you join, you're an equal. It's then up to you to contribute to the best of your ability." (p. 88)

"From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love." (Ephesians 4:16) "For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people." (1 Corinthians 9:19)

It's not just about community, not just about getting stuff for free, not just about freedom and trust. Ideology is the glue that holds decentralized organizations together." p. 95

[Our church ideology has to do with faithfulness to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ]: "One should think about us this way as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord. So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition from God." (1 Corinthians 4:1-5) "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

"The moment you introduce property rights into the equation, everything changes: the starfish organization turns into a spider. If you really want to centralize an organization, hand property rights to the catalyst and tell him to distribute resources as he sees fit. With power over property rights, the catalyst turns into a CEO and circles become competitive." p. 154

[In the church, we look to power and grace from God, not power and grace from leaders] : "The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all." (Acts 4:32-33)

"The sweet spot that Toyota found has enough decentralization for creativity, but sufficient structure and controls to ensure consistency." p. 191

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical." (James 3:17) "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another... But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:13, 22-23)