4 Keys to Changing Your Church Culture in 2013

Whether it’s a business, a nonprofit organization, or a church, I am sure you have walked into a building and noticed either a level of excitement from those inside or a sense of doom! The energy which emanates from culture cannot be faked. It’s similar to the intent which stems from a persons heart. God has wired us in a way that it is very difficult to project an intent which is different than what is in our heart. Culture works the same. If people are operating in a toxic culture, they cannot easily project an attitude of joy and excitement. Anyone who regularly flies on United Airlines (and many others for that matter) can attest to this!

If you think your church culture could use some improving, here are four things to consider in 2013.

  • Start with your staff.
    Perhaps your church has had trouble getting the right people in the right roles. Maybe some do not share the overall vision. Maybe morale has been low or your middle school minister and high school minister don’t get along. The church’s culture will only evolve when the staff culture changes. Get your staff right so the rest of church life can follow suit.
  • Study up on leadership.
    Morale rises and falls on leadership. How can you change your shepherding approach to help improve commitment, trust, and motivation? Start by reading resources on the topic. Both Leadership Is an Art and Leadership and Self-Deception are great first steps.
  • Focus on people.
    Empower your staff, lay leadership, and volunteers to take ownership of the ministries they are involved in and approach leadership with fresh ideas. Encourage your team to be intentional with the relationships that are forged through ministry. Just as they show the church and local community that each individual is valued, your leadership team needs to express to volunteers how much they are treasured.
  • Commit to authenticity.
    Inspire authenticity within your staff by practicing authentic leadership. Do you give your staff the opportunity to provide feedback each week? If you model transparency and vulnerability, they will too.

Have you seen radical change in your church’s culture over the past year? What was the catalyst?

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Steve Caton

Steve Caton

Steve Caton is part of the Leadership Team at Church Community Builder. He leverages a unique background in technology, fundraising and church leadership to help local churches decentralize their processes and equip their people to be disciple makers. Steve is a contributing author on a number of websites, including the Vision Room, ChurchTech Today, Innovate for Jesus and the popular Church Community Builder Blog. He also co-wrote the eBook “Getting Disciple Making Right”. While technology is what Steve does on a daily basis, impacting and influencing the local church is what really matters to him……as well as enjoying deep Colorado powder with his wife and two sons!

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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