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7 assumptions you may be guilty of

| by Rob Streetman

The church in America desperately needs a reformation. Where do reformations begin? Romans 12:2 encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Perhaps, in this Age of Reason, we need a reformation in the way we think.  

We have become lazy in our thinking. We trust our thinking way too much. Those of us who preach and teach trust the thinking of others more than we should.

The way we think, and what we think about, is commonly called our mindset, worldview or paradigm. Everyone has one, though many do not recognize that they receive and respond to external stimuli through a mental filter that has been developed throughout their lifetime.

We are born with a mindset that has certain predetermined settings. Others come through learning. A baby crying when he/she is hungry is not a learned behavior. Learning to manipulate with emotion is learned and developed. Both predetermined and learned behavior can be unlearned. Our minds can be renewed.

Assumptions are a big part of our mindset. They are the things we have learned to take for granted.  Most assumptions are made and acted upon subconsciously. This makes them dangerous. 

Assumption is defined as “a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.” The “without proof” is an important consideration. Human beings subconsciously accept and act on things as true, without proof.  

In fact, we will go so far as to assume things when, if we gave them some conscious thought, we would recognize them as not true. This is the trickiness of our minds.

Dangerous assumptions

The following are seven assumptions Christian leaders are making, without proof. These came quickly to mind. I don’t think any of them require a strong defense. They are self-evident and have been proven by the Western church over the last 40-50 years.  

One final point before you consider the list. Assumption and faith are not the same thing, but sometimes we confuse what we believe with what we are assuming to be true. It is possible to have faith in an assumption.

1. “America” is an ally of the church.

2. Numbers matter.

3. Preaching and teaching equals disciple-making.

4. As a leader, I am committed to the difficult way that leads to eternal life.

5. My fellowship is following me down the difficult way.

6. We are doing things God’s way.

7. It’s OK to choose something other than God’s way.

Not every Christian leader is living out of these assumptions; nor is every church fellowship. However, to assume we are in the clear, without proof, is dangerous. As faithful stewards of all that has been entrusted to us by God, we owe it to those we lead to prove ourselves—and them—free of these assumptions.

We invite criticism, correction and questions. For the sake of brevity, we did not expound on each assumption. We have written about most of them in the past. Perhaps we will do so again as a part of this series.

In the meantime, God bless you with courage and wisdom to be searched.

Photo source: istock 

Rob Streetman

Rob Streetman is the president of inLight Consulting and is author of The Map Maker. He is called to encourage, edify and equip Workplace Leaders as disciple makers and transformation agents. He began inLight in 2005, after 25+ years in the IT industry.

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