Friday, November 20, 2009
68. Dunbars Number and Intimacy in Community
Ever thought to take a step back and look at your social network from a numerical stand point? The diagram below groups people into various numerical segments. With the technology of facebook, twitter, and all the social networking tools out there, the number of friends eventually blends into the number of acquaintances. The question is, just how many friends can you have? I know for myself I love having a lot of friends. y wife on the other hand is more of a smaller cluster of friends type person. I am an extrovert and she is an introvert.
Seth Godin in his blog highlights the curious, but intuitively accurate concept of Dunbars Number. I think there is something to be said for larger gatherings. However, we must ask our selves, Whats the Point? If we are supposed to be making disciples, and this involves cultivating authentic relationships, why would we want to go any higher than 150 people?
It is a proven fact that any larger than this leads to the breakdown of the collective interpersonal capacities of the people in the tribe. I think a lot of churches settle for ambient intimacy and try to cultivate true intimacy in their small group ministries. I think the idea of Missional Orders being at the 5-15 level, Missional Villages at 15-35 and Missional Tribes being at the 35-150 mark is a good place to start on how to organize an organic simple church network. I would personally love to have a group of 150 people to hang out with once a month and synergize for the Kingdom. God willing, we will multiply our small missional band/order into a group this size. But the goal is transformation of people into the image of God and mission.
Posted by Tim Catchim at 10:31 AM