When you lead a growing church, creating culture is something that you have to always keep doing. If you are growing, that means new people are coming. And if new people are coming, then you have to teach them your culture.
The adverse is also true. If you are not growing, there is a reason you are not growing. And that reason probably has a lot to do with the culture of your church or church plant. It’s one thing to blame your context. It’s another (more noble) thing, to look introspectively at yourself and the culture of the church you lead.
Here are 5 ways non-rocket-science-ways to build culture at your church:
ONE: Model what you want your culture to be.
It starts with you. When you model something in a consistent way, then over time the culture you want to create will happen because you have been modeling what you want it to be. John Maxwell says it best, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
TWO: Use consistent language.
Define your language and stick with it. After that, teach your people the language you want them to use. The language you use defines the tribe you are a part of, and it begins to speak into existence the culture you are creating.
THREE: Celebrate often.
It’s not enough to just have a culture of high-fives. If you want your team to stick around, then celebrate them. When goals are accomplished, don’t just move onto the next one. Spend some time celebrating together… even if that means a line item in your budget.
FOUR: Have fun together.
A church that has fun together, ________ together. If you put the word “stays” in the blank, then hug yourself. There is nothing more “culture building” then having fun together. Again, if you’re able, I would put this as a line item in the budget. Call it “staff development” if you want, but whatever you do, make sure it’s fun!
FIVE: Make yourself easily reproducible.
This might be one of the greatest lessons I’m learning right now as a leader. For so long, I have been able to just swing from the hip and make things happen. However, swinging from the hip with intuition or quick decision-making is not easily reproducible. As the leader, think about the things you do, write them down, and then begin to put easy reproducible steps in place for how you do them. When you do this, others can see, follow, be taught, and mimic.