Community is hard

Ben Hyde talks about a “community tool shed” which is a variation of something I’ve often thought about. He explains why everyone has their own snow blower, lawn mower, weed wacker, etc. and gives hints on how to solve the problem:

One way to solve this problem is to insert a middleman. He can then obscures who paid what. Community activists often fill that role. They keep the secret. If that information got out the whole project would fall apart. If you want to kill a community activity just force the contribution levels of the various participants out into the open!

The use of a middleman is interesting since it is Centralization when the current fad is decentralization. I just discovered Ben Hyde, so the first post of his I read included this:

It isn’t clear to me exactly how much [C. Peter] Wagner is still tied into the Vineyard moement. I wish I knew because I find him to be a scary character. He’s very, ah, pragmatic: “… we ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means. What else possible could justify the means? If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method. If, on the other hand, my method is not accomplishing the goal, how can I be justified in continuing to use it?” (C. Peter Wagner, “Your Church Can Grow – Seven Vital Signs Of A Healthy Church”, 1976, pg. 137. – emphasis in original)

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