Two essential movements for protecting unity


Two motions or movements serve as a helpful illustration of the function of key values and a of a healthy core group in any organization.

  • Centripetal movement/force draws something or someone toward a central point.
  • Centrifugal movement/force pushes something or someone away from the center.

Assimilating and Dissimilating dynamics

These forces of movement help us build the interior life of a local Church (or other any other group or organization).

  • Centripetal force is an assimilating dynamic. It refers to the centering effects of the core commitments of a core group.
  • Centripetal force is a dissimilating dynamic. It refers to the purging effects of the core commitments of a core group.


  • Like water draining from a tub, centripetal magnetic motion draws toward a central place with collective movement. The core group provides this motion in a Church or small group as it draws others toward the core beliefs and values.
  • If a primary value is to remain positive and solution-focused, the core group will draw others toward this way of seeing things. When a person in the group becomes negative-minded, the group could also fulfill a centrifugal force that purges attitudes and perspectives that contradict core commitments.
  • If a core commitment is to avoid gossip, the centrifugal force will be felt by the person who chooses to gossip among them.
  • This same dynamic occurs in athletics when a teammate, as they say, “gets his or her head out of the game.” Immediately this athlete is surrounded by their teammates as they draw their fellow player back to the team focus. Those who are constant “head cases” will either not make the team or be purged from it.

The goal

The hope is that group dynamic can draw others toward attitudes, speech and actions that please God. But protecting the health of a group will likely require both assimilating and dissimilating dynamics.

In a local Church, the plan outlined in Ephesians 4:11-16 views the leaders as those who equip the people and when the people become established in the truth in a way that produces collective stability and maturity. When opposing forces try to sway those who have been equipped, the core group protects the internal life of the Church in ways illustrated by centripetal and centrifugal movement.

The function of centripetal force is illustrated in Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:24-25.  The function of centrifugal force is illustrated in Romans 16:17-18.

Have you seen these two motions/dynamics in your Church, team, group or organization?

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another field worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Accountability, Antagonists, Athletics, Attitude, Church, Church growth, Church Leadership, Church membership, Conflict, Elders, Family life, Leadership, Life of a pastor, Local Church, Pastors and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two essential movements for protecting unity

  1. Pingback: Overcome division with core values | WisdomForLife

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