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April 24, 2006

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I've had the opportunity to spend time with Eric on three occaisions. Every time it was a mind-blowing experience. He thinks about church IT on a completely different level.

The last time I was with Eric was with a group of around ten other mega-church IT guys a couple of years ago at North Point in Atlanta. This time Eric blew our minds when he told us he was moving out of day-to-day IT management to work directly with Rick Warren on these five big problems.

He had been doing a lot of reading on "polycentric networks" (one example being the Internet). His thinking at that time was to use technology to link the independent activities of churches and denominations in a way that enhances everyone's missions/outreach activities without requiring centralized control. He gave an example: "Saddleback sends a missions team to Honduras. The people there tell the Saddleback team that they need an electric generator. The following week a small group from Granger makes a long-planned trip to the same village in Honduras, bringing with them the requested generator. When the Granger group arrives with the generator, the Hondurans ask, 'Do you know the people from Saddleback who were here last week?' And the Granger group answers, 'No, we've never met them, but we heard you needed a generator so we brought one with us.'" :-)

This story was Eric's way of illustrating how technology could be used to link the independent missions activities of two churches across the country in different denominations without any central organization controlling it. Pretty cool, huh?

That meeting was the last time I talked with Eric. Sounds like he is trying to recruit some smart people to help him apply this polycentric network concept to the five big problems. Nice. I'd love to join him if I weren't so busy serving Christ in my own corner of the Kingdom.

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  • Jason Powell is the Information Technology Director at Granger Community Church. The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of GCC ...
    or are they? Hmm???

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