Thursday, April 10, 2008


a few months ago david g and i were talking to a man who was visiting journey's warehouse or meeting with us or something. and he was asking us about how we plan (ha) worship and coordinate activities and ministries and outreaches, etc., as part of journey ifc. we explained that people contribute, people say things, bring their hearts, pray, get over their own shit, continue to ask god for help, and then we all put it in a stew pot and stir it and see what happens.
He said, "Oh, so, you do open source worship."

i had heard of open source culture, and what it means to open up the processes that for centuries have been top-down, closed-source. it's the control. it's all about deciding who gets to participate, contribute, be included, be believed. have power.
journeyers do children's time in worship, and lead singing, and read scripture, and read poems, and pray before offering & at other times, and design and run the set up, and take down, and help write poems and create powerpoints, and decorate. and, if that weren't already enough, sometimes they just interrupt and say something during worship. they're part of it, after all. they're not spectators; we're a community.

it can take some time to get used to. but now i cannot imagine how i could ever be part of a traditional worship experience ever again. and especially, i cannot imagine how i could ever be part of traditional worship-planning - which in my experience was always about the music minister and the senior pastor and talks with the organist or the altar guild or whoever. but it was top-down. and only professionals were allowed to plan - they're the ones who know church tradition, and have the direct line to god. as if!

a definition of "wiki," which is a big term in the next iterations of how we all use the internet, is "concepts such as open source, copyleft, collaborative writing, and volunteer contributions for the public good."
i believe that real life is "wiki" and that the way to respond is to look about in wonder, and believe that we have a gift to give, and give it. in journey's case, it's our job to look about in wonder, and believe that we have a gift to give, and give it - and to include everyone's gifts where they fit or where they don't ... and let god take it from there .......................


Melinda Hasting said...


Here's why I like Journey (and I know you've heard this before- I just love repeating it):

We have gender equality at Journey. It's the purest form of community I've ever experienced, because the equality here doesn't have to be pounded into anyone's skull. Men just get up and go take care of the kids sometimes. Men make coffee sometimes. And sometimes women do it, too.

It goes further: There's no structure that silently informs me of who's rich and who's poor at Journey. I dunno. Neither do the pastors because they don't look at people's contributions.

It gets better: There's no age barrier on who gets to be profound. We have little bitty prophets who feel free to share their wisdom on occasion. Even teenagers are considered to be valid and relevant, even with their sometimes awkward ways.

I could go on and on, but here's the deal...when the shit hits the fan in my life, I know who to call.

I couldn't ask for more.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, "open source worship" struck me as being absolutely hilarious. That versus "closed source worship"? So, I'm thinking of our words and concepts like "worship," "communion,"
"confession," "church," "religion,""praise," "prayer," "love," "Jesus" -- Who is it that is afraid if these are "open source," and why?

Rick Diamond said...

and ... adults are considered to be valid and relevant, even with our sometimes awkward ways ... YAH!

Rick Diamond said...

anonymous - yeah, isn't that a hoot? when that person made that comment, it did the same thing to me - most worship IS closed-source ... crazy.

Anonymous said...

That makes you WikiRicki.

Rick Diamond said...


nonprofitprophet said...

wiki wiki wiki sound reminds me of Herbie Hancock music ...

Anonymous said...

Word! I dig it. The Holy Spirit likes open source.

Rick Diamond said...

do doot
do doot
do doot doot dooot
doot do do doot
doot doot doot
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Rick Diamond said...

right on sheltonbaby -
pentecost is the ultimate open source par-tay!!!