While building the culture of the Church ultimately begins in the heart of God infused into the Senior Leader, it is quickly transferred into the Staff, and ultimately replicated into the Local Body that you find yourself leading. The culture that you end up building, whether intentional or not it is never neutral. It either supports what you want to do or it interferes with and undermines it. You can do your best to attempt to ignore culture, but you cannot choose not to have one. It is a powerful force, which when properly harnessed, can help you to become the kind of Church God has dreamed about in eternity past. The culture of your church becomes reinforced and further ingrained into the DNA of the Staff and the people each and every day you stay at your church and is expressed through:
#1 The VALUES of the organization
#2 The ATTITUDE of your heart
#3 Your way of THINKING and DECISION MAKING
#4 The SYSTEMS that you build
#5 The BUILDINGS and ENVIRONMENTS you put people in
#6 The manner in which you SPEND your MONEY
#7 The LANGUAGE you choose to use
#8 The fashion in which you BEHAVE towards insiders, outsiders, and your Staff
You can carefully wordsmith and write down whatever you want to on paper, you can even intentionally choose your vernacular and talk about whatever you want to, but it is what is actually lived out that builds culture. You see culture is unique, in that it is something that is both reflected and simultaneously formed through our actions.
And the longer you stay the more it will show up. In fact you may not always get what you want, but if you stay long enough you’ll get what you are. The reason things are the way they are at your church is because you either made a decision or allowed someone else to make a decision to lead it to be where it is. It is where it is because it has been led to be where it is, either by intention or neglect, but none the less by leadership.
Let’s not squirm out of ownership on this one by shifting blame to unforeseen obstacles, crisis, and setbacks that we feel are out of our control. Everybody deals with obstacles, crisis, and setbacks. These are all just moments that provide an opportunity to reveal and reinforce who you already are, or provide you with a window to change who you want to be.
“I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is the game.” Lou Gerstner, former President & CEO of IBM
If it’s true that the culture of the church over time reflects the personality of the Senior Leader, than focusing on that first level of cultural transference from yourself to your Staff must be intentional and strategic. The first step is, understanding what your team wants from you. This all rests at the feet of the Senior Leader. You can choose to embrace it, you can try to avoid it, or worse even deflect it. But like it or not ultimately it all starts with you!
So maybe leading the right kind of church does have something to do with being the right kind of person…
Posted in Leadership, Staffing