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4 Steps to Building a Strong Organizational Culture

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