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The mission of ChurchNext is to build healthy congregations by opening ourselves up to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit who's actively working in every denomination.

ChurchNext: Chris Yaw interviews Landon Whitsitt

May 03, 2012

It's one of the Church's biggest mistakes: over-reliance on one person to do the bulk of the work (planning, visioning, preaching, organizing, cleaning gutters... you name it).

In this new, inventive, age, the PCUSA's Landon Whitsitt, author of the book Open Source Church, thinks that the day of the 'super-pastor' is way over - and that the Body of Christ does its best work in collaboration.

Landon, a gifted speaker, denominational leader, author, and thinker thinks anybody can be a leader - and it's up to today's clergy and active lay-people to open up to the amazing ways God is using God's people to touch the world. Be energized by this gifted theologian.

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Landon says he's a cross between a software geek and a church geek - and he's making some interesting discoveries as a result. Here are my notes from the interview:

Give the Work Back to the People
Landon admits this is the hardest part of Open Sourcing church: the good people in the pews have been programmed (for years) to not do what was thought only the clergy could do. Show up late for church, refuse to say the opening prayer - put the work back on the people - they will respond.

Church Like Wikipedia?
Landon say's we've got a lot to learn from a community that's open to anyone's gifts, yet is very clear on what it is: an encyclopedia. Of course, we're the church - but when was the last time we defined exactly what that meant?

A School of Love
No longer the most effective social service agency or center of social interaction, what the church is, and can be well into the future, is a school of love - where we learn to get along with God and one another, learning the lessons of love.

About Landon Whitsitt
Landon Whitsitt is a writer, speaker, theologian, and artist. He is the author of Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All and Theology is Art. A former congregational pastor, Landon currently serves the Presbyterian Church (USA) as both the Vice-Moderator of its General Assembly and the Executive of the Synod of Mid-America. You can find him online at

Books Landon Recommends
Tribal Church - Carol Howard-Merritt
Failure of Nerve - Edwin Friedman
Where Good Ideas Come From - Steven Johnson
The Lean Start-Up - Eric Ries

Taken with permission from


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