I believe we need a paradigm shift in the church in North America today. A paradigm is the way we see and interpret the world according to a built-in pattern or worldview.
I believe we need to have a biblical worldview which would be a serious shift from a “Christian” worldview – a world view formed by traditional Christianity. It would also be a shift from the secular worldview that many Christians see things through today. So, many who proclaim they are born again and thus saved are looking at the world in a way that is different from the way that God view’s it. So, a need for a drastic paradigm shift.
If we want to see practical changes in the Church and in our own lives, our paradigm must change first so that we begin to see things the way that the God we worship and serve sees them. Be prepared for a rude of awakening.
A paradigm shift typically has four stages:
1> Search for it
False contentedness is the biggest enemy of change. Unless we ask pertinent and pointed questions, and unless we have a burning desire to search for new answers, we won’t have room to accept a new insight, let alone a new paradigm. But typically a paradigm shift starts with a crisis, an occurrence that causes our safe and sound world – our traditional way of explaining things – to simply fall to pieces. This crisis can be caused by an accident or a revelation, a negative or a positive experience with something that simply does not fit into our worldview. Fortunately, crisis tends to give birth to creativity.
2> Preach it / Share it
When we find what we have been searching for, we also experience this overwhelming thrill and excitement of finally “finding it.” For this reason, this can be called ‘the eureka phase.’ We may be so excited that we want to tell everyone about our discovery – in an almost evangelistic or apologetic fashion. It may be, however, that we have found only a piece of the truth – a fragment of a larger piece – but we have been thirsty for so long that all we want to do is drink, drink, drink. This phase is the most dangerous, because our excitement may drive us to immature and naive statements or actions that are difficult to redeem later.
3> Live it
In this third phase we symbolically sit down, wipe the emotional foam off our lips, and start to become an integral part of our new found paradigm. We stop preaching and defending our discovery, and we begin to live it.
4> Teach it
This last phase turns us into an agent of change, as we begin helping others to discover the paradigm we have found ourselves and assist them in making the necessary changes themselves.
I believe that what we see as the Church in North America is, in general, no longer working. It has not been built upon a biblical pattern and thus is not capable of fulfilling the biblical mandate given to the Church by her Head, Jesus. Thus we need to start asking questions, sharing our discoveries as we seek answers to our questions. Then as we live out our lives embracing this new paradigm we share it with others and then teach them to live within this radically charged and changed worldview.