By Carey Nieuwhof
You have a culture. What is it? You can have the best strategy, mission, or vision in the world, but your culture will determine the success of your church. If you don’t know what your culture is, then chances are likely that it needs some work.
How to Create a Healthy Culture
How do you create a healthy culture? It starts with you as a leader. If you’re treating people poorly, it will ripple throughout your church.
One of the things that I found surprising as a leader is that if I was healthy and the immediate leaders around me were healthy, then it trickled out across our church, even to multiple campuses. But if I was unhealthy or things were rocky at the top, it was rocky throughout our church. Healthy at the top means healthy at the bottom. Unhealthy at the top means unhealthy at the bottom.
What Are Your Cultural Values?
Take time to write down your cultural values. One of my values is to err on the side of generosity. Often in churches, we think cheap is the better route. But the reality is that cheap is more expensive in the long run. And generosity isn’t exclusively tied to your financial resources. It’s about your spirit. Be generous with your time. Take an extra minute or two to help someone.
Another value for me is to choose trust over suspicion. Am I believing the best about others or assuming the worst? When there’s a gap in information, how will you respond? For example, if someone is late on sending you a report, will you respond “I wonder if they knew the deadline” or “Oh, this person is always late!”
Your culture defines the how. If you write down the values that are important to you, then what’s important becomes exportable. And when you start to shape your culture, your culture shapes you and your church.
Adapted from Carey’s exclusive Ministry Grid leadership courses.