Decentralizing the Church

I've been thinking about a community of believers being organized in a decentralized way. One of the criticisms I've heard a lot of the church at large is the overly-corporate mentality. I think some of this stems from a need and desire to manage and organize the church in ways that give more seamless programs and processes. Intuitively, this makes sense. I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing at heart.

The problem comes, in my opinion, at a level when something is so managed and centralized that the Sunday "event" becomes the central focal point, the key to all else that happens in the system. I'm reading a book called Here Comes Everybody, that deals with organizing without organizations. It's a fascinating book looking at the systems so prevalent today that people are organizing themselves around, minus the need for hierarchical organization. Things such as myspace and wikipedia are great examples.

So I wonder about decentralizing the church. I wonder, if a church were planted with part of it's value being in a decentralized nature, what that would look like. What if a system of house churches functioned as communities, organizing themselves around a common mission and purpose--perhaps with a monthly gathering at a larger level for worship and story telling, teaching and vision. I wonder what the key issues would be. The organizer in me comes up with a list of things immediately, but I also see a lot of values. What do you think?

Check out this article for more thoughts on the subject.