8 Mentalities The Church Needs To Detox From


Yesterday I got to hear a friend’s testimony. I didn’t know he knew Jesus as his savior and as I mentioned to him being in ministry, he asked me if he ever told me about how he got saved. I sat listening attentively hanging on to every word simply because I love hearing how a person’s life transitions into seeing the tangible transitioning redeeming work of Christ as He takes a beggar and sets him at the king’s table.

My friend lives in a small town and not knocking small towns (because that’s where I’m from and I love it) but there are some church mentalities that small towns seem to have that burns my hide. As we sat talking he would mention a few of them and I could feel the hairs on my neck beginning to rise and I wanted to debunk as many of them as I could. He was speaking of them as if they were cannon and I wanted to find his bible and burn it.

Traditionalism is evil in terms of locking people into a mentality that believes its always been this way and always will be this way and if it changes it’s heretical. I love tradition in the sense there’s a healthy respect for how things have been done but it doesn’t mean it’s cannon. We need to remove these barriers if we plan to reach people with the gospel. These are just a few that stemmed from our conversation. I’m sure there are more.

1. Salvation is not an event. Salvation is an awesome experience. I still remember and share my moment at a picnic table in Kokomo, Indiana. But my salvation didn’t happen when I knelt down with my pastor and said some magic words. My salvation became a reality when my heart said, “I need Jesus.” The prayer was an outward expression of what my heart was believing. So let’s not get too wrapped up in the event over the change of heart. The event was memorable but the heart transformation was eternal.

2. Just put some clothes on and go to church! You don’t have to wear a tie and suit. God does deserve your best… OF YOUR HEART not your closet! Just don’t come to church showing your “goods”. Put some pants on regardless of the holes. Put a shirt on regardless of the stains and go to church and make much of Jesus because he is making you holy and has cleansed your spiritual stains.

3. Speaking of church… GO! Don’t let what’s wrong with man turn you away from what’s right with God. Man is screwed up. Theologically, we have about as much sense as a tree frog clinging to a window. People are going to gossip and treat church like a social program but church was meant for our growth and sharing in our gifts. If you don’t go, you won’t grow and you won’t be able to share the gift God has given you.

4. Speaking of growing… Church is for creating disciples. You don’t go there to get fed. You go there to “learn” how to put the fork in your mouth. If you’re not going over your mammas every night and letting her throw food down your throat, why are you going to church and wanting the preacher to do it. Feed yourself. Read your word. Study at home and by all means if you’re the daddy, TEACH YOUR FAMILY. You’re the pastor of the household.

5. You want a beer? Fine. Have one. But don’t let addiction ruin your life. Be sober-minded does not mean don’t get drunk. It means let nothing beside God rule over you. Addictions rule your thoughts. Instead of letting addictions determine what you’re going to do in life, allow the Holy Spirit to have his way. You’d be better off and besides that, alcohol is healthy… in moderation. Have some.

6. I don’t care if you say a cuss word. Just don’t let it become every other word and make sure your speech is building up and not tearing down. It can be done but it takes being wise with your words doing it. Plus if you don’t have someone in your church dropping the F-bomb occasionally, I would question if you’re reaching the right people. God never called us to reach saved people. We need people in our church who are still being sanctified and has a long row to hoe.

7. Be BOLD! If you love Jesus, don’t compartmentalize your life. Love him at church. Love him at home. Love him at work. Love him at the game. Love him in Wal-Mart. Love him at the shop. Love him at the DMV (I know that one’s tough). Just make sure you don’t put Jesus on the back-burner when you’re around those who don’t know him. How else are they going to believe in the gospel if they don’t hear about it?

8. Don’t be so traditional that you don’t know why you’re doing something. Have you ever heard the reason Miss girly always cut off the piece of turkey every year for thanksgiving? It was because her mother did it and as soon as she asked her mother, she had to go ask her grandmother because that’s where he mother learned it from. She asked her grandmother why and her grandmother said she never had a pan big enough. Well… find out why you do what you do and don’t believe blanket statements and empty beliefs.

In other words, man looks at the outer appearance and God looks at the heart. Where’s your heart? Don’t be lazy with your comings and goings with God. Be intentional. Read. Study. Live intentionally.

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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