a review of Tribes (kinda)

If there is any doubt that there is a newly powerful attraction to tribes – an increased drive to belong, to “team” and teem together, to join – yesterday settled the question. Barack Obama was, without a doubt, the leader of a tribe during this campaign, and that identity drew in plenty who might not have voted for a similar individual in a similar year.

That’s only one example of the many kinds of “tribes” that are attracting followers these days.

I finished the book Tribes by Seth Godin last week, and it potentially offers a revolutionary “organizing principle” for college ministry – if someone’s brave enough to try it.

Yes, Tribes also contains plenty of powerful individual notions, and there would be real profit in reading this book and harvesting those.

But when I say it also offers a possible “organizing principle,” I mean this “Tribe” theory as a whole could produce a very different sort of college ministry:

  • in how the ministry draws students (and what students it draws)
  • in how it relates to the campus
  • in how it relates to other ministries
  • in how it relates to its overseers (whether that’s a national board, a denominational leader, or church leaders)
  • in how the college minister functions as leader of the “tribe.”

Obviously, this quick post may not be a very satisfying review of the book itself. If you need something more full, try my friend Rhett’s review or check out Amazon’s reviews.

What this post may serve better as, actually, is a dare. If somebody really dove into this (short) book, grappled in prayer & thought with its conclusions, and developed a college ministry based on these ideas… it might just be a brand new Tribal model for Collegiate Ministry.

I double dog dare you.

Let me know when you do.

(For more thoughts on tribes and this year’s Presidential election, read Seth Godin’s thoughts here.)

(For more on digging in to the Tribes idea and book, check out this later post.)

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  1. Pingback: college ministry review: free prize inside « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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