신학과 실천[Theology and Praxis]





Theology and Praxis, Vol.37. (2013)
pp.371~383

Congregation As a Complex System

  • Pan, Shin Hwan
    (Professor of Hannam University)
Complexity theory is focused to describe the mechanism and process how to appear ongoing and critical changes both globally and locally through mobile connections. An individual has an impact on the globe while the global boom or bust has an influence on the individual in multiple ways. A local congregation can generate an impact on the globe while the global events determine the congregation in multiple ways. Complex systems include large number of parts, because complexity happens in interactions between huge numbers of subunits. It is the dynamical and diverse behavior generated from simple interactions between their parts. Complex systems are nonlinear dynamical systems with emergence, self-organization, feedback, and criticality. Congregations are complex systems in that individual members in a congregation are complex systems. They are self-organizing and evolving without clear boundaries. Their cannot be replicated through simplicity of linear models such as their senior pastors' leadership or locations. In complex systems pastors need understanding, openness, centeredness, and engagement. They can understand that congregations are complex systems. They accept and engage ongoing, multiple, and radical changes. And they need psychological flexibility and skills to enable their parishioners to change the rules of interactions among multiple agents. Therefore they enable their parishioners to enhance their own openness, flexible contact with the present moment, and valuing and committed actions.
Congregation; Complexity; Complex System; Change; Network; Ministry

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