Presented by: The Master's Table Web Site

Church Mentality
By: Bill Lussenheide- Menifee, CA USA

During my years in the Church of God community, I have often thought "why are the disputes in the Church so fierce?" The answer -"because the stakes are so low." Because there is so much nominal spiritual growth and little spectacular or miraculous spiritual things going on amongst us all, we then examine what little has been accomplished in our spiritual realm with a microscope, and dissect every particle with rigor.

It's not unusual for people to magnify trivial spiritual differences when the spiritual fruits themselves are and have been so trivial. It is known as "scarcity mentality" in economics and in psychology. My impression is that this sort of mentality is present in the Churches of God and in most of mainstream Christianity as well. Here are a couple of contrasts between an "Abundant Spiritual Mentality" and a "Scarcity Spiritual Mentality"...

Abundant Spiritual Mentality...
Abundance Mentality is characterized by generosity, and a sense that no matter how much or little you have, there will always be enough of God and his love, truth, spirit, forgiveness, and generosity to go around. The mind is not burdened with concerns about Church survival, and all Christians needs are carried within themselves with the hope and comfort of God's spirit and the church group and community of which they are an integral part. Material possessions, Church services, as well as knowledge and resources are not hoarded, but accepted and shared. There is a sense of connectedness and belonging that brings a relaxed personal security and spiritual health.

Scarcity Mentality
The insufficiency or shortness of supply mentality is characterized by disconnectedness and a greedy focus on the individual or his particular religious group. Material possessions, "Spiritual Turf", Church membership and perceived unique spiritual knowledge are gathered and jealously guarded to build personal power with efforts also made to prevent others from doing the same. The mind is consumed with thoughts of day-to-day survival.

Because this paradigm cannot support a person in a sustainable way indefinitely causes a sense of helplessness. This leads to a belief that ultimately there is no hope for long term satisfaction of basic spiritual needs and so the individual's focus shifts away from survival needs and into the realm of self gratification through the use of "Pride in the Present". This can manifest itself in terms of spiritual ambition and title seeking, jealousy of other churches, putting down of other individuals and churches demanding that "we are the only ones that God is working with. Obviously this leads to mental and spiritual madness because this belief system cause a sense of being more special than others.

To me, it makes total sense to be a Christian with a "Spiritual Abundant Mentality"!