Concentrated nurturing systems
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-12
1 Corinthians 12:24-27
24 So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.
26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
Modern tech companies tend to cloister in the hubs like New York, Boston, and Silicon Valley. As a consequence of the coronavirus, tech firms began to migrate to new locations. Such places have been dubbed “wannabe innovation hubs.” They include such places as Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami. Yet, tech workers gravitate to areas with clusters of like-minded individuals. They seek conditions where they can network with other like-minded individuals. Such environments provide conditions for them to do innovative and exciting things. Such locations are called “Concentrated echo systems for nurturing innovation,” a.k.a. effective knowledge networks.
These networks are composed of unique and diverse individuals with various backgrounds, expertise, training, and experiences working together on common challenges with a common goal. In the modern tech world, “Innovation is the process of idea management” (Tim Kastelle).
“The premise that innovation prospers when ideas can serendipitously connect and recombine with other ideas when hunches can stumble across other hunches that successfully fill in their blanks may seem like an obvious truth, but the strange fact is that a great deal of the past two centuries of legal and folk wisdom about innovation has pursued the exact opposite argument, building walls between ideas, keeping them from the kind of random, serendipitous connections that exist in dreams and in the organic compounds of life . . . [in a network environment] people can concentrate on coming up with new ideas, not building fortresses around the old ones. And because these ideas can freely circulate through the infosphere, they can be refined and expanded by other minds in the network” (Where Good Ideas Come From).
Concentrated echo systems for nurturing are not new. The Father employed this concept in the New Testament when He launched the church. Local churches are intended to be nurturing centers where unique and diverse individuals with various backgrounds, experiences, and spiritual gifts work together with a common goal: to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).
REFLECT & PRAY
“The tests we face in life’s journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths. We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face” (Kemi Sogunle).
Father you had such a remarkable idea to create an environment where spiritual maturity and growth are the byproducts of children of the King working together in love. It is so sad that this potentiality is often unrealized. Every day is a new day. Encourage the members of the body of Christ, the church, to lovingly work together.
All children of the King are given spiritual gifts to nurture one another. The body of Christ is a concentrated echo system designed to be an innovative, creative, transformative network of individuals. They are to support and nourish one another, encouraging growth, development, stability, and permanence.
The body of Christ was designed to be a source of comfort, consolation, understanding, and knowledge that promotes growth leading to maturity and security.
Regrettably, throughout the past two millennia, the children of the King, and those merely associated with His Son’s name, the Lord Jesus Christ, built walls and not bridges. They are divided and often dreadfully separated. They defend the past, right or wrong, and build fortresses to protect and idealize what has come before.
The word of God does not need to be protected. “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself” (Charles Spurgeon).
However, human-made ideas, doctrines, and traditions often require fortresses to protect them. This is the environment the Lord Jesus Christ entered in the first century. Religious leaders of His day had built a “fence around the Torah.” The learned rabbis meant well. Their writings consisted of ideas and teachings developed and passed on by people, not the Father. These teachings were meant to safeguard the law of God from being violated. They were not seen as additions or subtractions but rather as aids in understanding and protecting the integrity of the Mosaic law itself.
The idea of building a fence around the Torah is found in the early writings of Rabbinic Judaism dating from about 20 A.D. One section is called the Pirke Avot, The Sayings of the Fathers. It stated that “Moses received the Torah from Sinai and committed it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.”
“The Torah is conceived as a garden and its precepts as precious plants. Such a garden is fenced round for the purpose of obviating willful or even unintended damage. Likewise, the precepts of the Torah were to be ‘fenced’ round with additional inhibitions that should have the effect of preserving the original commandments from trespass” (Israelstam).
The Lord Jesus Christ disagreed. He stated unequivocally that human-made laws did not protect the law of God; they invalidated it.
Mark 7:13 You cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition.
The Lord Jesus Christ kept the law of God perfectly. Yet, He demonstrated that the law of God was often in conflict with the rules made by people. He went out of His way to stir things up. He intentionally violated the rules that people made. The religious leaders of His day were stunned. Time and time again, they were furious because He did not keep their human traditions, particularly their Sabbath Rest laws which were not part of the Mosaic law.
To be an innovative, creative, nurturing system for all children of the King, the body of Christ must focus on God and lay aside human traditions, doctrines, practices, and socialization. And instead, focus on graciously living out the principles of Scripture set forth by the prophets and the apostles.
1 Corinthians 12:24 So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
The Greek word translated as put together, composed, or blended “ is sugkerannumi. Sugkerannumi has the sense of assembling a unified whole by mixing or combining different parts. Sugkerannumi comes from sun – together or with, and kerannumi – to mix. Thus, it means intermingle, mix, blend, unite, or combine. Here it signifies unifying a diverse group of individual members into one functioning spiritual body, the body of Christ.
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
For the body of Christ to be healthy, vibrant, mature, and nurturing, it must grow up into Christ who is the head. Things that divide and separate need to be acknowledged, addressed, forgiven in love, and laid aside. The individual members must work in a coordinated fashion, full of love, growing to maturity.
© Dr. H 2022