Mission. It’s not something we do, it’s who we are. As people, as a company, as a church. Paradigm seeks to be in the heart of culture and to awaken it. We are a lifestyle brand, but not in the usual sense. On the one hand, yes we create designs that fit your lifestyle. We’ll be the first to admit, we love to be trendy -- we love to be in the heart of the people. We want to create clothing you’ll be stoked to wear -- not just on retreat -- but out on the streets. On the other hand, we hope our brand challenges your lifestyle and that of those around you. So, we make designs that spark creative conversation that leads to an evangelization opportunity and we provide digital content that equips you to go out and live mission.
It All Started When..
The heart of Paradigm began years before the company did. Back when our Founder, Jamie Cleaton, was in high school, he felt a deep disparity in his heart when it came to evangelizing. The Great Commission calls each one of to make disciples of all nations. It SOUNDS mighty and adventurous, but in today’s climate -- it can often lead to people feeling pressured, uncomfortable, and even put off. Noticing that in order for a conversation to really take root in the heart of the person he was evangelizing to, Jamie realized the conversation needed to happen organically. Thus the idea of using apparel as an opportunity to evangelize was born. He created a shirt after coming off retreat in high school that simply read, “This I know.” And as he and his friends began to wear it, people started asking them the obvious question: “What do you know?” And in that moment, genuine conversation was born. “Oh I know that Jesus loves me and He loves you too.”
Allowing others to approach them about the hidden truth on their shirts created a moment that had been long missing -- the moment where the typical evangelization conversation was flipped on its head and truth was more likely to be received.
It would be cheap to say that the shirt is doing the evangelization; but instead of knocking on doors, people will start coming to you. And here’s the thing:
ALL you have to do is wear clothing, which is hopefully something you do every day.
Fast forward X years, and Paradigm was founded. It started with a t-shirt, but now it’s so much more than that. Our deepest mission is not to create trendy designs, it's to awaken as many people as possible to THEIR mission. It is to set YOU on mission.
As a church, our deepest identity IS mission. Pursuing mission MUST begin with inner transformation. The very first question isn’t “how can we go out and change the world for the sake of the Kingdom?” -- that relies way too heavily on our own strength. Really we should be asking, “How can we open ourselves up more fully to the transformation the Lord wants to move in our hearts so that HE can build the Kingdom more freely through us?” We will never arrive “transformed,” but we can continue to partner with the Lord in a constant state of becoming. As He moves in us, we will be more and more equipped to point everything in our lives towards Him.
Speaking of Transformation (collage here)
The triangle is not just our attempt to be hipsters, rather the symbol holds quite a bit of meaning for a Christian. First of all, it’s Trinitarian in nature -- three points. Second, it stands rooted with two corners on the ground and one pointed directly up, drawing attention automatically up to the heavens and away from itself. As Christians we live on earth, but our lives should point up to something greater. When people see the conviction with which we live, the passion with which we speak, and the love we have in our hearts - their attention should be raised to the heavens. The Lord uses Truth, Beauty, and Goodness to point all things to Himself. When we live as we ought to, people should see God. Third, in the world of science, triangles are a symbol of transformation, a shift, an agent of change. Whenever anyone wears our brand, we want them to know that our design is not the agent of change, THEY are.
So here’s the thing. We’re glad you’re here, but you really need to go. We don’t want you to stay. We want to equip you to go out and establish mission, not rely on Paradigm as your crutch. We aren’t here to take the space of community in your life. Don’t come to us for comfort (you weren’t made for it), come to us to be prepared, equipped, and challenged.
POTENTIAL IMAGE (otherwise just regular text) Paradigm is for the person who feels the call to speak but doesn’t know the script. The one who desires to be on mission, but doesn't know where to start and wants to build community but feels they lack the gifts to really make it happen.
We want this mission-based community to be full circle. Not only are you equipped with an evangelization opportunity, but Paradigm’s digital platforms can be a practical resource for those that are looking for the tangible tools to evangelize. We desire to set people on mission, to create opportunities, and to equip people to be Christ’s hands and feet wherever they’re at (state where they are?). Here are the channels through which we hope to equip you (make these clickable links) :
Our Live Mission series is our first journey to bringing this full circle. LIVE MISSION SERIES -- blurb
CUSTOMS FOR YOUR MINISTRY | LET OUR MISSION ENHANCE YOUR MISSION
Paradigm has been creating custom apparel designs for conferences and other large events all over the states beyond the Paradigm brand for years. We have partnered with the likes of Jason Evert of the Chastity Project, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Youth and Young Adult Conferences, and Matt Fradd of Pints with Aquinas to name a few.
PDF 10 TIPS WHERE TO START (email opt-in)
IMAGE -- COMMUNITY AND MISSION = two lungs
We want to end by taking it back to the beginning: The Church’s deepest identity. Pope Paul VI said it clearly in his encyclical -- Evangelii Nuntiandi: “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize.” You cannot have Mission without Community, they’re two lungs. Both vital. And we would be remiss if we didn’t make a huge mention of the Holy Spirit, who is the very heart of both.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit stemmed forth into mission, and, from that mission, community was created. The nature of the Spirit is cyclical in and of Itself -- it is the love between Father and Son. Mission and Community mirror that same trinitarian Love inspired and throttled by the presence of the Holy Spirit.