Group Think Characteristics


From KMYoung:

Eight symptoms that he said were indicative of groupthink:
1. Illusion of invulnerability
2. Unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group
3. Collective rationalization of group’s decisions
4. Shared stereotypes of outgroup, particularly opponents
5. Self-censorship; members withhold criticisms
6. Illusion of unanimity thereby creating false consensus
7. Direct pressure on dissenters to conform
8. Self-appointed “mindguards” protect the group from negative information

Yes I’m still thinking about church. The only thing I’d say my church doesn’t have is a strong leader causing this. The churches of Christ are ruled by committee. I think people in other denominations don’t understand just how much. The minister/pastor is not the leader of the church, even the famous ones. The elders are. They decide what is right and wrong, they decide what happens and what doesn’t, they decide who is a leader and who isn’t.

The good thing is that our church recently went through the process to select new elders. They’d had a very bad process the last time they did it so they wisely came up with a better method for picking this time. As a matter of fact they let non-elders develop and run the process. One of the parts of the new process was that the old elders needed to be reconfirmed by the membership. But when asked, all but one of them said they no longer wanted to be elders. The one who stayed on was not confirmed.

Anyway, I say that to say we currently have a very diverse and “liberal” group of elders. When I say liberal I’m not talking politically or theologically liberal. I’m saying they are willing to let the church change. Probably not as much as I want it to change, but they don’t have a strangle hold on every decision.

So I feel now the biggest barrier to change in the congregation is no longer the leaders. Its the people’s groupthink.

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