“Paradigm Shift” [n. par·a·digm shĭft] a change in approach or assumptions.
Paradigm Shift is all about reaching people who are not currently being reached through traditional models of ministry. Our roots stretch back to the Muscular Christianity Movement of the late 1800’s and continue today as we reach out through both community outreach and social media. We call ourselves ‘church on the go’, and we believe the timeless truth of who Jesus is and what He came to do is still vitally important as we live our daily lives. If the Christian faith is a living faith, then what we believe should affect the way we live. Together, we can change this world for the better!
“Reimagining and reigniting the local church.”
Paradigm Shift Church
We define the Church as the universal body of believers, and we define the local church as any gathering of Christians who are committed to pray, grow and serve together in their community. We believe the local church exists to do ministry and is intrinsically connected to the Church universal by the unity of the Holy Spirit.
Reimagining the local church
We believe the local church to be a family rather than a membership club or an institution. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to pray, grow and serve together in our respective communities.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…” Acts 2:42
Reigniting the local church
A community is only as strong as the faith of the people who live there. If we want our local churches to make a difference, we must begin by reigniting the passion in our hearts as we follow the living Christ.
“And you shall love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…” Mark 12:30
“Empowering people to pray, grow and serve together both online and in the community.”
PRAY to the Father
“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.” – Apostles’ Creed
We believe the first mission of the Church is to seek the will of our Heavenly Father by committing ourselves to living lives of prayer and worship in order to honor His name.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1
“PRAY then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” – Matthew 6:9
GROW in the Son
“I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.” – Apostles’ Creed
We believe the second mission of the Church is to equip the saints for ministry by making disciples of all nations through baptism and biblical teaching as commissioned by Jesus.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to GROW up in every way into him who is the head…” – Ephesians 4:15
SERVE with the Spirit
“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” – Apostles’ Creed
We believe the third mission of the Church is to serve the surrounding community by putting into practice our God given gifts and to pursue our individual and collective callings as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
“As each has received a gift, use it to SERVE one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” – 1 Peter 4:10
Engage communities and local churches to REACH youth.
“Reach” [v. reech] to stretch, to strive for, to move from your comfort zone.
Thriving communities and local congregations have one thing in common – recognition that today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders. We are open to partnering with any community or local church that puts its youth first.
“And the Word became flesh dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
Engage local churches and volunteers to CONNECT parents.
“Connect” [v. kuh-nekt] to come together, to unite, to become one body.
It’s no secret we live in a broken world. Again, unity comes through mission. If we want to connect parents, then our youth must be our mission. From top to bottom, our focus must be bringing people together in Christian fellowship.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12
Engage volunteers and youth to TRANSFORM communities.
“Transform” [v. trans-fawrm] to change, to grow, to be made new.
The only power strong enough to overcome the evil in this world is the love of Christ. We need to train up our volunteers and youth to be agents of change by teaching them the life changing story of how God sent His Son to redeem our fallen world.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” – Romans 12:2
Engage youth and parents to INSPIRE local churches.
“Inspire” [v. in-spahyuhr] to be given vision, to be set free.
Our culture is driven forward by our youth. If we want our local congregations to stay relevant, then we must inspire the next generation to stand up and take the lead. It is not enough anymore to send them off to college and hope they return when they have kids.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
OUR CORE VALUES
Your faith journey begins when you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Salvation requires a personal commitment to live as an ambassador of Christ, to represent Him and His interests wherever you go.
“Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Once you have committed your life to Christ, the next step is to be baptized by water. Water baptism symbolizes dying to this world and being made alive in Christ. This act publicly announces you as a member of the Church.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4
Communion is both about celebrating the Lord’s Supper and gathering together on a weekly basis to worship our Lord. The act of communion is about remembering the bittersweet sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.
“And he took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.'” – Luke 22:19-20
Marriage & Family
Christian marriage is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman before God. Christian marriage requires mutual love and sacrifice as exemplified by the Triune God. The bride and the groom become one as the Father, Son and Spirit are one.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24
All children, from the time of conception, are gifts from God and therefore become our responsibility to protect, to provide for and to love. We are called to love all children with the same unconditional love our Heavenly Father has for us.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:13-14
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!.” – Psalm 127:3-5
Ministry & Calling
Each and every one of us has been created, called and commissioned both on purpose and for a purpose. We (the Church) are God’s chosen method of leading people to salvation. We must seek His will or our lives so we can fulfill both our individual and collective callings.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-12
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10
Our Roots (1896 – 2004)
The roots of Paradigm Shift Ministries (PSM) stretch back over 120 years. During the Muscular Christianity Movement of the late 1800’s, the local YMCA in Erie, Pennsylvania established what became known as the Erie County Church Athletic Association (E.C.C.A.A.). The E.C.C.A.A. administered competitive leagues across multiple ages and sports. This led to a rich intergenerational history of those who had represented their churches and neighborhoods on the field of play.
It was this league PSM co-founder Dustin Craig was invited to play in shortly after moving to Erie in 1998.
Our Foundation (2005 – 2007)
In the fall of 2004, the YMCA decided to decommission the E.C.C.A.A. Instead of telling people the program was going away, the outgoing league director began to direct phone calls to Paradigm Shift co-founder Tony Craig (since he was one of the more vocal church representatives). Representatives from seventeen local congregations gathered together to preserve the 100+ year heritage of ‘church league basketball,’ and the Christian League of Athletics for Youth (CLAY) was born.
On October 28, 2005, the Created… Music Project led worship for the first time at a regional youth retreat. Since then, over 70 youth and young adults have played everywhere from soup kitchens to sports stadiums spreading the message that we all have been created for a reason.
Over the next three years, CLAY would nearly triple in size to become the largest youth basketball program in Northwest Pennsylvania. Also during this time, Paradigm Shift co-founder Dustin Craig enrolled at Malone University (then Malone College) to study youth and sports ministry with minors in coaching and sport management.
Our Transformation (2008 – 2013)
In December 2007, coaches and representatives decided CLAY needed to evolve into a true sports outreach program rather than simply a recreational league for current Sunday school students. So, in January 2008, the CLAY board unanimously voted to be acquired by Right Choice Today, Inc. (RCTI), joining the Created… Music Project and the IC9:24 Fitness Club. This move was designed to incubate these programs while supporting them with revenue from RCTI’s business interests.
In 2009, Dustin was invited to speak at the annual Christian Society of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (CSKLS) on the topic of ‘Bodily Stewardship’ at the University of Ottawa. That same year, Dustin traveled to Honduras in partnership with Scripture Union (Canada/Honduras) and Athletes in Action (Honduras) in order to train local pastors and to establish a church sponsored community soccer program. In 2010, CLAY launched a summer sports camp program in Alexandria Bay, New York. In 2012, Dustin helped to architect a national sports ministry tournament in partnership with the Association of Church Sports and Recreation Ministers (CSRM).
Through these experiences, it was realized that in order for sports and music outreach to effect real and lasting change in a community, it must be fully integrated with a local church. This led to the creation of PSM, which began as a dorm room project in 2009.
The technical framework for PSM was built during this time as a part of the RCTI Business Resources online network. RCTI Business Resources was the first start-up to be featured in US Business Review Magazine and served as a virtual corporate office for over 20 small businesses.
Our Future (2014 – Present)
During the summer of 2013, the Craig’s moved their base of operations to Marion, Ohio and began the work to create a new not-for-profit corporation (designated as a church in the state of Ohio) to serve as the umbrella for future ministry. Papers were signed in January 2014 to christen Paradigm Shift Ministries, Inc., which then acquired the rights to all ministry and some business properties of RCTI.
Six Thirty Saturday Nite (#630SN) was soft-launched at The Haven on Vine Bed & Breakfast in Marion on November 29, 2014 and began broadcasting live via Periscope on May 30, 2015. On May 19, 2015, PSM announced the purchase of The Haven on Vine, which now doubles as an office, studio & retreat center. Live streaming extended to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2016.
The future of PSM is to continue ‘empowering people to pray, grow and serve together both online and in the community.’ Our ultimate goal is to build up the Kingdom of God by sharing our rich ministry heritage by establishing community hubs through local church partnerships.
Paradigm Shift Ministries, Inc.
CLAY Team Sports Ministry
Created… Music Project
The Haven on Vine
Dustin Craig (Lead Pastor)
Tony Craig (Executive Director)
LinkedIn | Twitter