Friends and Movements …

“Any movement which has benefited society in the long haul has at its core a group of people committed to a cause that they consider greater than themselves and to one another as friends.”

- James McGregor Burns

One of the facts I’ve come to embrace over the years is that movements run on relationships more than any other factor. I cannot think of a single movement – be it religious, social or political – where at its core there was not a profound relational dynamic.

Celtic Cross Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus.jpg

Some questions:

1. If I am part of a movement, where is the relational “nexus”
2. What is my contribution to the relational dynamic?
3. What is done to intentionally or inadvertently to nourish this relational dynamic?
4. What or who are the detractors to the relational synergy and how are they remedied or minimized?
5. Who are the key players in the relational mix? Who stewards the relational component of the movement?
6. Are the relationships based on the dual components that Burns articulates: a cause and friendship?

    Momentum in a movement is a precious commodity.  It’s hard to get and it’s hard to keep.  But the primary component of acquiring and sustaining momentum always has been and always will be relationships.

3 Responses to “Friends and Movements …”

  1. Steve Addison Says:

    Which comes first? The friends or the cause?

  2. Sam Says:

    Either. Sometimes the cause eminates from the relational synergy of the group, i.e., the group preceeds, creates or “finds” the cause. Other times a cause preceeds a group and it takes a charismatic leader around which groups and friends will coalesce.

  3. Friends and Movements » Steve Addison’s blog World Changers Says:

    [...] McGregor Burns via Sam Metcalf with some provocative [...]

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