Reflection: Living Systems Thinking
WCIU Journal: Community and Societal Development Topic
August 14, 2015
by Doug and Judy Hall
Doug and Judy Hall recently gave a 2-day workshop on our campus on the topic of “Living Systems” for WCIU. Their interactive presentation included these excerpted quotes:
“Contemporary, secondary culture Christianity needs to intentionally use the discipline of systems thinking. It is a practitioner-friendly social science well suited to ministry. When Christian missionary strategists began to use the practitioner-oriented social science of cultural anthropology in the 1950s, it transformed missions. Christianity went from being a Western religion to a world religion in a generation. To nurture secondary culture Christianity, a similar practitioner-oriented, systemic social science is needed. What science should it be? Based on my experience here in Boston, I think it should be systems thinking”
“A living system ministry practitioner is openhanded about his or her work, constantly evaluating his or her activities and adjusting them to the environment of the living system, which he or she knows is complex beyond understanding.”
“In ministry, therefore, we must work comprehensively in a redemptive manner with all the many interconnected variables in our church or neighborhood’s broader reality. If we don’t, the living system itself will reverse things back to how they were originally operating. That’s just the way living systems work.”
“All physical, social, and spiritual realities are perfectly interrelated through Jesus Christ. The three realms of reality were designed to operate in an interconnected manner before the fall and will do so again in the new creation. Now, in this present time, this is also God’s intention, but it will require a redemptive process for these three realms to be in harmony, because fallenness created separation.”
View a 3-minute introduction to Living Systems Thinking here.
Read more on their website about Doug and Judy Halls’ living systems approach to problem solving.