Are you leading them or are they leading you? This is the question that leaders, pastors, and those at the helm of an organization must ask themselves frequently. If you don’t set the culture of your house, then who will? You can rest assured that a lack of intentionality will result in a culture that will begin to take shape that you never intended, like it or not. Thoughtfully defining your culture with intentionality is the antidote to sending a confusing message to your congregation.
But, what does culture really mean? And how do you define it? It’s so much more than the music, the decor, or the “vibe” of a place. It’s the very lifeblood of your church. It’s what people feel and think about you after they leave a Sunday service. Culture is a way of doing life and your congregation is looking to you and your leaders to show them what that looks like. It’s dependent upon each organization to set forth its own set of values. Whatever they look like, they just need to exist.
It’s also so important to realize that the methods we use to “do church” might change over time, but our message must always remain the same. As our overall culture shifts, so does that of the Church. But, the one thing that never changes is the key message of the Gospel and the unique vision God has given you for your House.
In order to uphold this vision, you have to find the culture shapers within your organization. This doesn’t only include the people that look the part or seem to fit in. Find the people who are so committed to what God is doing through your leadership and in your House that they speak the lingo, live the life, and truly create a home for people within your church. These are the ones who not only protect and defend the culture of your church, but move it forward and expand it to include others. Culture can only truly be created in the context of community. One or two people living out the values you’ve set forth does not a culture make. You’ll see the success of shaping or creating the culture of your church when buy-in begins to take off like wildfire.
Get back to basics. When was the last time you took the temperature of the culture of your church? What’s still working and what is far from the original vision that you first set in place? It might be time to reel back things that have been deemed important and simplify your methods to match your message once again.
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