10 Dangerous Church Paradigms


Unhealthy churches need to shift their mindset to get back on the right path.

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.

Ron Edmondson Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.

More from Ron Edmondson or visit Ron at http://www.ronedmondson.com/

Please Note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, uncivil and off-topic. Read a detailed description of our Comments Policy.
  • http://Rickenba.ch/blog/en Ralph M. Rickenbach

    This is a great list of paradigms that are found too often in church and should be avoided. The way to fight them? Faith. Knowing your purpose. Knowing God’s will for your church. And dreaming big.

    Jesus thanked the father for hearing him when Lazarus had died. Why? Because Jesus had a desire to see Lazarus alive again, and God granted his desire. God wants to grant our desires. These paradigms keep us from even asking.


WATCH: Tim Keller: A Deeper Understanding of God’s Love

“Everything about God’s nature drives Him powerfully toward you.” Share this video with someone who needs to hear that today.