Spontaneous Emergence and Connectivity | Alan Hirsch meets Seth Godin


I came across this quote today from Alan Hirsch, and thought it dove-tailed nicely into my thoughts on assimilation as connectivity.

Most change in complex systems is emergent; that is to say it comes about as a result of the free (and often informal) interactions between the various ‘agents’ in the system. In an organization the agents are people—themselves complex systems. Complexity theory suggests that when there is enough connectivity between them and the complexity reaches a critical point, emergence is likely to occur spontaneously.

In a rapidly growing and complex organization, the function of connectivity creates the framework for the emergence of new systems.  We’ve seen this happen in the context of The Austin Stone, with a variety of new and fresh ideas, opportunities, and missional communities doing some really great ministry.

As an assimilation ministry in a missional context, one of the best things we can advocate for is establishing connectivity in the complex system that fosters emergence, which in turn facilitates connection for individuals pursuing mission.

By Todd Engstrom

Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth.

God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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