It all starts with a mental model from Nassim Taleb’s phenomenal book, Antifragile. He outlines three types of organizations. Fragile, robust, and anti-fragile.
Why does this matter to your Church?
Fragile organizations tend to collapse in uncertainty and stress.
They are the Goliaths. Strong but slow. Powerful but inflexible. When they fall, they fall hard. Churches like this usually have strongly hierarchical organizational structures. They don’t empower their staff to make necessary changes in response to changing situations. They tend to have an overwhelming focus on the in-person “Sunday Service.”
Robust organizations can weather uncertainty and stress for long periods of time with only minor damage.
They are resilient. They remain largely unchanged in seasons of uncertainty. But eventually under enough chaos, they too will break. Churches like this will have flexibility in their decision-making processes. Robust churches tend to have a strong focus on dispersed small group gatherings and community outreach as core components of how they do church.
The anti-fragile organization not only survives uncertainty and stress, it makes them stronger.
Our muscles are anti-fragile. Putting them under stress through training doesn’t make them weaker, it makes them stronger. To use another body metaphor, anti-fragile churches are like our immune systems. They turn attacking viruses into anti-bodies which gives greater resistance to viruses in the future. Stress makes them stronger.
Anti-fragile churches thrive in uncertainty and use it as rocket-fuel to propel them into the future. They embrace the mantra “fail often, fail fast”. They empower their teams to solve problems without lots of red tape and they see digital expressions of church as a priority.
We’ve all heard the phrase “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” That phrase demonstrates perfectly the anti-fragility of the church.
As the church is persecuted or faces uncertainty the church actually grows stronger. That’s the hope that I have for the church today.
Sadly, some churches right now are showing signs of being fragile. Others are showing signs of being robust. But a smaller subset (and here’s where it’s getting exciting) are becoming anti-fragile. They’re growing stronger in the chaos and uncertainty. They’re embracing innovation, change, and the unknown. They’re taking up the mantle of the historic Church to adapt the message of Jesus in unique and surprising ways.
In the next few days I’ll be releasing a series of articles on how you can build an anti-fragile organization and an anti-fragile team.
Share represents our effort to create a new, anti-fragile model for how churches get work done. To learn more about how utilizing ministry freelancers can supercharge your team, head over to ShareTalent.co for more details.