Open Source Church is the most effective metaphor I’ve read in years for expressing the kinds of community that Jesus’ followers are called to create and to live. For Christians under 40 or so, and for more seekers than you can imagine, the open-source world is everyday reality. People today connect through facebook and google, through social media and peer-to-peer networking. If the church is to be a vibrant social force in our day, it can only be an open source church.
(Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor of Theology, Claremont School of Theology, Author of In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World)Whitsitt envisions a church where openness and inclusion don’t just affect what happens at the front door but become the cornerstone upon which the entire structure is built.
(Eric Elnes, Host, "Darkwood Brew" and author of "The Phoenix Affirmations")God calls us together because of who God is. God is not a dry, detached singular being, but a holy community. We are made in God’s image. So we are designed to be together. The church needs to hear, believe and live this reality in every facet of its life. Together we are smarter, better, even more faithful, than any one of us can possibly be individually. Any attempt to limit the openness, the variety and innovation of the whole in the name of the few (or the one) inevitably undercuts the life of faith. In part, this is the message of Landon Whitsitt’s Open Source Church. But there’s much more here. What we need today is churchly thinking for “What’s Next.” And, as Landon knows, “What’s Next” will certainly not be a single model of church. Of course, there has never been just one single way of being the church any way – never! In this book, Landon provides a vivid and compelling picture of “What’s Next.” Welcome to the future!
(Michael Jinkins, President and Professor of Theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary)Landon Whitsitt’s vision of a new kind of church is revolutionary and hopeful, particularly for faithful men and women who feel they are locked into systems that are shutting down with very few reasons to hope for a reboot. What Chris Anderson’s book ‘Free’ did for the tech and business sectors, Landon Whitsitt’s 'Open Source Church' looks poised to do for the Church -- open up access points to new ways of thinking about how we function and who we are. This is not a book about churches embracing new media and new technology. This is a book about our churches installing a whole new, participatory operating system. The innovation we need for forming faith communities in this new era of mission will come from this kind of thinking.
(Steve Knight, Community Architect, TransFORM Network (www.transformnetwork.org) and team member for the Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation)Whitsitt offers a model for changing church structures that could work. He translates the principles of open-source technology to imagine a new framework for fluid and faithful mission. If you are searching for more responsive, agile, and inclusive-of-all-generations ways to organize church life, read this book.
(Melissa Wiginton, Vice President, Education Beyond the Walls, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary)
About the Author
Landon Whitsitt is pastor at First Presbyterian in Liberty, Missouri and the Vice-Moderator of the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He can be found online as the co-host of God Complex Radio (godcomplexradio.com), and writes The Metanoia Project blog (landonwhitsitt.com).