TONY: First of all, thanks for being my friend on Triiibes.com. I would have been lonely without you. But, since we’re now friends, what makes a good friend…online or otherwise?
SETH: I don’t think “friends” on Facebook and such are really friends. They are mild forms of permission, people who are willing to say, “no, you’re not in my spam folder.” True friends online are people who give before they get. And they’re hard to find!
TONY: I’ve started playing around with Triiibes.com today. It’s invite-only right now, but, on its surface, it looks a lot like several other social-networking sites including LinkedIn and Facebook. What’s the difference?
SETH: The key difference is that I’m trying to build a place where people are talking about ideas, not about each other. That’s a huge shift.
A tribe is not a crowd. A tribe is a group of people with a connection, a purpose and a leader. A key element of a tribe caring about an idea.
TONY: Thanks for agreeing to speak at Catalyst in October. Here’s a dirty little secret…we church leaders think we know a lot about “community” but more and more people are choosing to opt out of our communities. Why do you think that’s happening?
SETH: I worry that we’re confusing faith and religion, and I worry that we may be willing to sacrifice community in exchange for fealty to traditional rules. Faith is never going to go out of style, and community is more important than ever. It’s just got to be relevant.
TONY: Be honest. What scares you most about speaking to a group of church leaders? (Just between you and me, they kind of freak me out.)
SETH: I don’t like offending people, and it’s easy to offend people when you don’t know as much as they do. This group knows more about what it takes to lead in this way than I ever will. My goal is to push people, but I need to do it from a place of respect. I hope that will come across.
TONY: Just give us a nugget. What’s one surprise we’ll find in your new book?
SETH: Well, I just gave you one. I think faith is critical. I’m not so crazy about religion if it gets in the way of faith.