Community and Organizations

Community does not exist for organizations.  Organizations exist for the sake of the community in which they belong.  Community is about people, and organizations exist to serve those people…not the other way around.  Organizations can often wander through years of trouble and frustration (even economically) when they see their own organization as their end purpose and goal.  And organizations experience tremendous freedom, empowerment, and productivity when they become a bit self-less.

Organization-minded people are concerned with the activities, productivities, responsibilities of the internal and external affairs of the organization.  Community-minded people are concerned with human activities, our sense of mutual well-being, and the truth of our connectedness as members of this global society.  As a result, community-minded people must embrace an element of chaos as they consider not how the community can integrate into their organization but rather how their organization can better integrate into the community.

As organizations re-orient themselves toward community, they will find the golden-rule at work and surprisingly effective.  But this effectiveness might come at the expense of the organization’s previous sense of control and certainty.  This new effectiveness will most likely require adjustments in the DNA of a organizationly-centered organization.

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2 Comments

  1. This reminds me of something I read in John Piper’s Future Grace. He spoke to some high school students about the need for sexual purity. Many of them were concerned with big issues like world hunger, disease, poverty, etc. But the point Piper makes is that when you get down to it, all these things are still about individual people.

    So while I agree that organizations exist for the communities, we must also keep a focus on how the organizations do their actual work. They work by affecting individual lives. As those lives change the community changes.

    I like to think that is what happens here at Hope Community Church. Of course, no organization is perfect.

  2. Well said Jason. You could substitute “individuals” everywhere that “community” is written. It’s about people! Hope is a great great example of this. Thanks for the comment Jason! Hope you guys are doing well these days. -Mark

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