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Wisdom of Groups

Who is Wiser?


As a leader and decision maker, is it not better to consider collective wisdom from both clinical and empirical resources than to repeat old patterns or draw from subjective biases? How does a group know it’s building the Kingdom of God and not the Tower of Babel? Big data technology within a spiritual community gives light to wisdom. What are you building?

Simple math; Christ in ALL of us is much greater than Christ in a few.  Leveraging our individuality, unique experiences and opinions collectively make us wiser and gives us power to calculate decisions with greater accuracy within the ‘Will of God”.  First, a clarification is needed to understand the “will vs. the ‘wisdom’ of crowds. Next, the most significant observation about groups and finally, if applied, the ten (10) benefits of leveraging big data within a fellowship.


The WILL of the mob is uniquely different from the WISDOM of the crowd.

The WILL of crowds (the mob), recorded in the Bible, which DID NOT have good endings, for example:

  • The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11)
  • Mount Sinai and the golden idol (Exodus 32),
  • Mistrusting God in Horeb and the 12 spies (Deuteronomy 1)
  • Choosing Saul as king (1 Samuel 8) POINT: Crowds can make really bad decisions and be destructive.

All of these examples demonstrate mistrust in God and disobedience of a specific command of God. The crowds did not display wisdom, but rather their WILL as opposed to God’s WILL and there were disastrous consequences.

However, the WISDOM within each enlightened follower of Christ [believer(s)] is summarized by Paul in the following phrases and prayers collected from the New Testament.

  • believers have the mind of Christ
  • believers are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
  • believers are competent as minister –our competence comes from God
  • believers have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
  • believers are filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…
  • believers have [collective] power

POINT: Believers are wise in Christ and collectively are even more powerful because of God’s love uniting them together.

Paul’s prayer focus for new believers was consistently asking God to ‘fill them with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.’ It does not appear that the Apostle Paul wanted to see believers walking around insecure, doubting themselves or worry about their lives due to the confidence they possess in Christ.


In the book, “The Wisdom of Crowds,” by James Surowiecki. He cites a number of examples regarding the decision-making process and how to arrive at the best solution to a problem by having a large number of people help solve it. This is significant because life in a spiritual community necessitates problem-solving. To illustrate, let us begin with the popular game show, “WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?” From the book…

“This [is] a simple show in terms of structure: a contestant was asked multiple-choice questions, which got progressively more difficult, and if she answered fifteen questions in a row correctly, she walked away with $1 million. The show’s gimmick was this: If a contestant got stumped by a question, he or she could pursue three avenues of assistance.

  1. Remove two incorrect answers from a choice of four possible answers.
  2. Place a call to a pre-selected ‘smartest’ friend or relative and ask for assistance.
  3. Poll the studio audience.

We might have a tendency to think that our greatest help in choosing the correct answer would be through the pre-selected intelligent individual friend or relative, and in fact, these experts offered the correct answer under pressure 65% of the time. Surprisingly, the correct answer was selected most frequently, an astounding 91% of the time, by the audience, yet just another example of the collective wisdom. [“The Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki, Copyright 2004, Random House. (pages 4,5) nonscientific study]”

POINT: Crowds can be really smart under certain conditions. [4 conditions to be named later]

APPLICATION – the old vs. new


The idea that a few “enlightened” individuals or small leadership group possess the most wisdom is a fallacy. This erroneous reasoning method increases errors and risk factors because the wisdom pool is too shallow. Bottom line, when decisions lie in the hands of a few with limited perspectives, even qualified experts, the results will not be as solid as those made to include a greater number of people in the process. The real issue is not who makes the decision but the derivative nature of the decision. No disrespect intended to those at the “top,” but the main issue is not the man but the math.


Big data technology ‘makes sense’ of our diverse thoughts and forms a theospheric neurological network of wisdom. The Theosphere is the natural exchange and integration of spiritual thought in response to a message or lesson by its listeners. Ministry metrics strategies are applied for maximum results in helping decision makers better evaluate what’s really happening in order to build wiser.  See video blog: “Cognitive Computing in the Church” below to learn more about the flow of communications between pastors and their audience.


Ten (10) benefits of implementing big data technology into a fellowship:

For ministry staff:

  1. Make informed decisions by knowing the condition of the flock
  2. Create laser accurate lessons week after week
  3. Inspire member participation and reduce attrition rate
  4. Captivate new visitors and have them aching to return
  5. Increase contribution and trigger organic growth after just weeks

For a participating member:

  1. What you think and feel matters!
  2. Provided a safe platform to give feedback in response to sermons and lessons.
  3. Attract involvement with like-minded people and join relevant activities
  4. Be confident and eager to share your experience with others
  5. Make informed decisions regarding the value of financial giving

POINT: Big Data Technology + spiritual community = PEACE leading to > things

Finally, believers are empowered individually but together, rooted in love — limitless. Who are the wise and powerful among us? WE ARE together…more to come!

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