I’ve been in church all my life. Along the way, I’ve seen and learned a lot. Almost all the insight I have into church has come by experience.
I have observed, for example, that paradigms can often shape a church’s culture. A paradigm, in simple terms, is a mindset; a way of thinking. In this case, a collective mindset of the church, often programmed into the church’s culture.
If the church is unhealthy, part of the reason could be because it has some wrong paradigms. In that case, it will almost always need a paradigm shift in order to be a healthier church again.
Recently, I’ve been thinking of some of the paradigms which impact a church. I’ll look at some of the negative in this post and in another post some of the positive paradigms of the church.
Here are 10 dangerous church paradigms:
1. This is more my church than yours.
No one would ever say that, but a sense of ownership can set in the longer someone has been at a church. They have invested in the church personally, and feel, often rightly so, a need to protect and care for it.
The negative of this mindset, however, is when people don’t easily welcome new people. They own seats. You better not sit there, no matter how much the church needs to grow. They control programs, committees and traditions.
Obviously, the church is not your church or my church. God has not released the deed.
2. We’ve never done it that way before.
And, if this is the “go to” paradigm, you probably never will. People with this mindset resist all change. Even the most positive or needed change.
Small change is big change to these people.