Saturday, February 2, 2008

Reproduction: Nature or Nurture?

Well, I am sorry that it has been so long...that's what happens when one is hibernating, I guess. ;^)

I've been collecting snippets of things in a place for when I have time to blog...and thought that this one would do for such a time as this--that being a time when I still don't have time. :^)

Anyway, Brother Maynard posted an interesting tidbit about The Reproductive Environment.

Here is the majority of the text of the comment I left:

The Abbess, being a bit of an entrepreneur, believes that the "entrepreneurial spirit" is another manifestation of the "apostolic spirit", as it were. And I concur that encouraging and supporting this spirit in one will tend to awaken it in others, while squelching it in one will often squelch it in others.

There are, however, always those "mavericks" who will move out with no support (I tend do be in this category) and build their case from scratch and then find ways to convince others of its merits. The "organizations" from which these mavericks come would not tend to reproduce more...and the maverick's efforts may not necessarily reproduce others--unless they are successful at "reverse mentoring" (a phrase coined for my chapter in "Voices") and encouraging others where they were not themselves encouraged.

I guess I would say that there are "group mentoring" environments and then mentor/apprentice environments. Group mentoring environments continue to "spontaneously" produce innovation and replication--what I would call "unconsciously competent" in that they don't have to "think" about doing it. But there may or may not be any intentionality fostered either.

The mentor/apprentice environments, on the other hand, are ones that must begin very intentionally and must continue to build very intentionally so as to always seek to recognize, encourage and release the entrepreneurial spirit latent in others in and near the environment. For disciples of Christ, this "apostolic" spirit must be recognized, encouraged and released as the Holy Spirit disperses it throughout the Body. And I would go so far as to say that the rest of the five-fold gifts must be treated in the same way.

This is certainly part of the vision for CovenantClusters--which has risen from within a very "Christendom" environment and been recognized and encouraged by many over the past two years...and is hoping to be released very soon.
Nature or nurture? I'd say it must be a bit of both--and I bet no one is surprised to hear The Abbess say that, either. :^)

Go with God.


Brad said...

Reproduction: Catalyzers or Sustainers? Here's what I posted at Bro. Maynard's place ...

I think it's rare to have a person who is both an entrepreneur and a sustainer, if they have apostolic/catalyzer kinds of gifts.

Successful enterprising (church or business or community agency) takes a team effort that includes catalyzers and sustainers, where the two different ability-and-gift-mixes take prominence at different stages. I've experienced what happens when a catalyzer who should have gone off and started another business attempts to sustain the one they finished starting, and they end up starting to finish it off. I've also experienced what happens when a sustainer has the vision to multiply but not the gifts to catalyze, but won't let catalyzers do their thing, and so that network wilted.

Ironic how either the "entrepretneurial spirit" or "sustainer stability" alone can quickly turn into overcontrol that kills an enterprise for the long run. They need to be moderated by/teamed with the other.

I suspect that training in skills for creativity, sustainability, and team building are all part of the resources that will help smoothify transitions between catalyzer and sustainer stages. These tend to be missing from most churches I've been in, and certainly haven't been a prominent part of formal training programs that I'm aware of, which means, seminaries. Few church planting (or entrepreneurship) trainings seem to include them either. Which is perhaps why the results most often end up a one-man show.

So if churches are meant to be enterprise incubators, we've got to learn how to function as a Body where ALL giftings are valued - not just in the absolute/generic sense, but also in the relative/specific sense that some gifts are more necessary at specific stages of communal development. As with gender genetics in humans, an X or Y gene that is broken, missing, or doubled usually results in sterility.

AbiSomeone said...


Thanks for your comment. I appreciate where you're coming from. And I agree that it is very rare to find someone who can do/be both.

I would have to say that my experience has been that I have been in very different places in my own journey when I have been able to function in these different categories.

Certainly, one would be very hard pressed to catalyze and then sustain the same organism/team. I am definitely looking forward to embracing the five-fold gifts. ;^)