Church Innovations’ Partners Post

February 19, 2010

How do we learn our habits?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ptellison @ 1:42 pm

I have been wondering how we learn our habits. 

Like — how did I learn how to sneak snacks and then think I didn’t have to be accountable for them?  It’s a very well-ingrained habit that I don’t seem likely to unlearn.

Kennon Callahan, the great church growth and effectiveness consultant, always says that you never unlearn a habit. You simply nee to acquire new habits, better ones.  He would ask, “Where did you learn to do that?” and then “How might you learn to do something else instead?”

Our congregations have habits, too, habits learned from individual leaders and even from families who have led in the past…habits like avoiding conflict rather than getting to the bottom of it, habits like keeping our faith personal and private and never speaking of it lest it unduly influence someone else – like our children and grandchildren (almost a direct quote from Thomas Jefferson’s grandson about what he knew of Jefferson’s religious “affections”). 

How do congregations learn their habits, and, of even greater interest to me, how do they acquire new ones? Better ones?

Tell me what you think!  Peace. Pat


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