Summary: Individuals cannot consistently outperform groups when it comes to decision-making. Churches must get the process of making decisions as a group right to make consistently wise decisions.
Summary: Why do we only choose certain individuals to make decisions for groups? Doing this violates the conditions groups need to be consistently wise. If a group satisfies four conditions, its judgments are likely to be wise.
Summary: When it comes to decision-making in churches, we can’t think maturity levels don’t matter. Without maturity, you can’t be a consistently wise church. But the function of more mature believers isn’t to make decisions FOR a church, but to facilitate the decisions OF a church. If this isn’t the case, damage will occur.
Summary: There must be enough diversity to consistently uncover good amounts of possibilities. This helps to more consistently uncover decisions that Christ wants us to make, which comes by aggregating everyone’s perspectives through dialogue.
Summary: The answer to communication breakdowns in decentralized networks is not to centralize. It’s to improve information-sharing processes. Centralizing creates levels of importance and saps the potential wisdom right out of a church.
Summary: Breakdowns in a church’s decision-making processes can lead to 3 phenomena that violate the conditions a group needs to be consistently wise. They have to watch out that they’re not sucked into groupthink, herding or information cascades.
Summary: The answer to communication breakdowns in decentralized networks is not to centralize. Centralizing creates levels of importance and saps the potential wisdom right out of a church.
Summary: A group’s culture regulates its behavior, and that culture is established by the standards and principles they’ve agreed to. Decision-making should coordinate naturally throughout a church and its network based on the new instincts of the Spirit they’ve received, not a centralized decision-making body. When a church learns to do this, they can coordinate and make consistently wise decisions with relative ease.
In the Consistently Wise series, I’ve attempted to lay out the characteristics of an environment in which consistently wise decisions can be made in a church. Here, I’ve put them all together in one place as action steps to give us a framework of reference for making sure we’re not violating those characteristics when we go to make decisions together.
When you think about it, the entire New Testament tells the story of a nation (the Israelites) who believes that they completely understand the scriptures, who God is and what He requires of them. When a prophet (who turns out to be God Himself) shows up on the scene to tell them otherwise, they kill Him – having complete and utter confidence that they’re correct in their theology and practice.
In Proverbs 8, it says the Lord acquired wisdom as the first of all that He did and that He formed wisdom and then used wisdom to architect the watery depths and the mountains and the hills and how He marked out the heavens. It’s a bunch of architectural imagery. Wisdom is the blueprint of the architecture.