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4 Steps to Building a Strong Organizational Culture

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Vision Arizona is a church planting network located in Arizona that boasts a 90% success rate. At a recent network gathering Chad Moore who serves as the Lead Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church, the church I have the pleasure of serving at, shared some background on a church that merged with Sun Valley to become a Sun Valley campus. During the talk he shared some clear steps that pastors can take to intentionally build a great culture in their churches. Here are some of my notes and thoughts from the talk.

  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” Peter Drucker
  • A merger is very different than a multisite.
  • A multisite is when you take a couple hundred of your people and your culture and go 20 minutes away or so and start a new campus. A merger is like adopting a rebellious teenager or a rebellious grandparent.
  • In a culture of decline you’re not playing offense you’re playing defense. The value is to survive.
  • Transitioning culture requires loving first, leading second, but always doing both.
  • Culture is transferred or changed through people.
  • People, not strategy, change culture.
  • Mergers require humility on both sides (on the side of the lead church & the follow church).
  • Your church already has a culture.
  • Culture is more on the art side of leadership.
  • Two big questions to help you to begin to identify your culture:
    • What in your church (staff), when you see it, it energizes and excites you?
    • What in your church (staff), when you see it, it makes you cringe?
  • The world is not the enemy they’re the goal.
  • It takes about 3-5 years for the church/staff to become who you are.
  • If you’ve been at your church 3 years or more and there’s things about it you don’t like…look in the mirror on that one.

How to Build Culture:

#1 Preach: Inspiration & motivation. This is all about language. Use the same language over and over and over again.
#2 Teach: Application. How do I do it?
#3 Model: Illustration. Testimonies, personal life…”join me”
#4 Celebrate: Celebration. Have everybody clap for it. What you celebrate gets repeated.


Posted in Leadership

3 Responses to “4 Steps to Building a Strong Organizational Culture”

  1. Steve Cooper August 21, 2015 at 7:20 am #

    Excellent post! The ability you guys have to simplify and provide application continually amazes me. This set of simple principles has much broader use than in church planting and church operations. It should work anywhere, maybe everywhere. Thanks!

    • Paul Alexander August 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      Glad to hear that the post was helpful Steve! And yes, I agree…truth is truth and it’s how life works, not just church-world, but life (business, family, church etc).

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