In this short series on “mutuality,” I’m considering the concept of mutuality and how living as the church “mutually” might affect our maturity in Christ. Remember that “mutuality” is related to our concept of interdependence, and that mutuality stands apart from both individualism and collectivism.
In an individualistic lifestyle, the person reigns supreme. From what to believe to how to act, everything begins and ends with the desires of the individual. The desires of the group are considered only when it is beneficial to the individual.
Why would someone with an individualistic mindset be interested in the church? Because there are benefits to the individual for being part of the church. In fact, the church often trumpets its benefits to the tune of individualism: a personal relationship with God, personal salvation, personal growth, etc.
Meanwhile, collectivism is at the other extreme of the spectrum. In a collectivist society, people are told what to do and what to believe. Everyone in the group must do and believe (or at least profess) the same thing. Questions, disagreements, and diversity are not allowed.
For an extreme example of a collectivist society, think of George Orwell’s 1984 (i.e. “group think”). However, churches can become collectivist groups as well. Phrases such as “What does your church believe?” or “What does your pastor say about X?” demonstrates (at least the beginning of) collectivist thought and action.
In the introductory post in this series, I suggested that mutuality is important for maturity in Christ. (I will continue to unwrap this idea in the following posts.) For now, consider both individualistic and collectivist groups – or those who tend towards individualism or collectivism.
In either case, maturity is stifled. Without mutuality, a group of believers will not grow (as intended) toward maturity in Christ.
Agree or disagree? Why or why not?