The Black Swan Theory is used by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain the existence and occurrence of high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations. Unlike the philosophical “black swan problem“, the “Black Swan Theory” (capitalized) refers only to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. Such events are considered extreme outliers.
Most might think that the idea of the black swan theory has to do only with catastrophic events, let’s say like 9/11. but, this could include transformational events that have shifted history into an era of positive progression, like the life of Jesus or the life of Mother Teresa. people who have made a positive contribution to the world and have changed the face of history as we know it. and so what if the sunday services were what the early had? what if that is what they came up with for their time? maybe for them, that kind of church-as-event might just have been a black swan for those in the early movement. many churches spend their energy trying to become the black swan of the first-century, but it really isn’t that big of a black swan event. what would it mean to be a black swan event for today? what does that look like? what does it even mean for the church? i think it means we are an ever moving, ever progressing movement of people who are committed to seeing the world through the eyes of defiant hope and are willing to find agrressively creative ways to engage their society, the broken, the fixed, all of creation with wide open arms and will do anything it takes to change the world. a black swan event is what we are meant for, something that changes the course of history, for the most part, it takes a lot out of a church to change the powerpoint background. something needs to change. and this is a hopeful place to be, especially when we see change as a good thing and not as an enemy.