Two motions or movements serve as helpful illustrations of the function of key values and of healthy core groups 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.
These are assimilating and dissimilating dynamics. They are essential for help building and protecting the interior life of a local Church or, 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.
- Centripetal magnetic motion draws toward a central place with collective movement like water draining from a tub. 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, a group dynamic could also serve a centrifugal force that purges attitudes and perspectives that contradict core commitments.
- If a core commitment of a group is to avoid gossip, the centrifugal force will be felt by the person who chooses to gossip among them.
- Centrifugal force is the same dynamic that occurs in athletics. When a teammate lets his head get out of the game, the athlete is surrounded by his teammates as they draw him back to team focus. Those who are constant “head cases” will either not make the team, or be purged from it.
The goal is that group dynamic can draw others toward attitudes, speech and actions that please God. Yet protecting the health of a group will likely require both assimilating and dissimilating dynamics.
The plan outlined for a local church in Ephesians 4:11-16, presents the leaders as those who equip the people to become established in the truth. The outccome is 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.
Q. Have you experienced and practiced these two motions or dynamics in your Church, team, group or organization?