The Clash Of “Mindsets”: Structural Versus Relational

Kent R. Hunter in his ebook, “The Future Is Now: How God Is Moving In The 21st Century,” uniquely describes the difference of a what I call the “Old School” pyramid structure of thinking verses the “New School”, “twenty-teeners”, as I call them, way of thinking which is drastically different.  The bottom line between the two lies in the question, “Where Do I Belong?”

In his chapter “Snapshots of Tomorrow Today” he depicts the “old school” pyramid structure format as being believe -> behave -> belong while he depicts the “new school” relational structure as belong -> believe -> become ->behave.  “Old school” places “belonging” as the result of believing and behaving; “New school” believes “belonging” starts the process which produces belief and behavior.

In my last blog, I talked about the “Old School Publishing Pyramid” where an author had to “believe” that his works could be published, but had to “behave” correctly by going through “agents” following the proper format before “belonging” to the company as a published author.  You have to believe and behave before you can belong.  “New School Relational Publishing” all starts with belonging; belonging to a Facebook/MySpace page by being accepted as a “friend”, or being accepted into a Google+’s “huddle” as in a circle of influence, or tweeting articles to friends or becoming the “mayor” of local business establishments, or feeling like family by following personal blogs.  It all starts with “belonging”!  After you belong, you begin to believe in that social networking “platform” before you “become” all engrossed in it as a lifestyle.  That social networking’s lifestyle, ideals, etc. dictate how you should behave according to its individually styled norms. You chose it and its standards; it doesn’t chose or define you by its standards in order to belong.

In the political process, in order to “belong” to a political process you have to “believe” in their causes, platforms, political ambitions to belong. “Old School Political Mentality” even makes you “chose” who you believe and belong to before you can vote, unless you want to be independent excluding you from primaries.  Obama embraces the use of “New School Politics” through social media during the last election and the way he communicates today.  Through social media you already belong to the world wide web, searching for data to develop a “belief” system which eventually gives you an identity, the “becoming”, which then dictates how you “behave” and vote.  The way we do politics is even changing according to the mindset of its population.

“Old School Religion” dictates what you must “believe” and how to “behave” in order to “belong” to that religious group, thus the church has lost much of its influence to the “world” and the “culture” around it. “New School Religion” embraces your existence in one’s culture and through that relationship the sharing of one’s stories and “beliefs” influences a person now want to “become” part of that group which directly effects what their “beliefs” and “behaviors.” “New Schooler’s” question if exist to benefit the structure, thus rejecting “Old School” structures, or are they to be “relational” to their peers, their culture, and to the world?

Everyone just wants to “belong”. It is an age old need.  Some question now are “belong to what”, “how can I belong”, “what does belonging mean”, and “what does it cost to belong”, and “what happens if I can’t belong”?

 “New Schoolers” relationally just want to belong; “Old Schoolers” place “acceptance” before “belonging” thus the new debate on how to do Church and what really is Church or “The Church”? 

It is all about different mindsets, different ways we have and are looking at our world today.  Do we accept the pyramidal structures already in place or question them?  How does relationships and acceptance play in belonging?”  Do you have to “belong” to be “accepted”, or can you be “accepted” just because you “belong”?