Archive for August 2009

Centered Sets and Orthodoxy

Almost six years ago, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch published their highly influential book The Shaping of Things to Come.  Among a number of other topics, they discuss the ways churches have handled evangelism and membership for many generations.  They do so using mathematical concepts called bounded sets and centered sets – but they do it in non-math ways, so it will make sense.  Imagine a piece of paper with a bunch of random “x” marks scattered all over it.  A bounded set can be pictured as a circle drawn around a group of those “x” marks, such that some “x” marks are inside the circle and some are outside.  This is how most churches function – there are pretty clearly defined boundaries that tell us who is “in” and who is “out.”  A centered set, however, would include the entire set of “x” marks on the paper, but there […]