Article by Teresa Chang
We as church leaders get the honor, privilege and joy of partnering with God to dream and establish the culture within our organizations. Sometimes I like to imagine God designing life, how He created every organ, cell, even our DNA code with a specific purpose and function. He literally wrote destiny into everything He created, and nothing was made without reason.
As we learn about creating a church culture of church health, God is inviting us to do the same; to experience the joy of partnership with Him as we construct and compose all the components that are foundational for developing the culture that shapes us as an organization. We get to design with Him as we set values, priorities and practices that define the substance of who we are and why we do what we do. We create culture with our Creator, writing destiny and purpose into all that we do as a church.
I was very recently speaking to my best friend back in my hometown. He was just appointed as into christian leadership over one of the ministries at my church, and this is his first time in a leadership role. I was talking to him about what we had been learning in the accelerated track ministry coaching, particularly about how culture is made up of the values, priorities and practices of a group. I asked him if he had thought about any core values for his ministry. His answer was no, as he was basically just handed the leadership role and left to do whatever he pleased with it. We spent the next hour or so brainstorming some core values for his ministry, strategizing how these values help set priorities for resource allocation and how to put practices in place. What I loved about this conversation was that I got to see my friend discover what God placed in him, which he in turn will weave into the culture of the ministry he leads.
Just like the ebb and flow of that conversation with my friend, so it is when we dream with God to create culture in our ministries.
“God, what are the values you’ve placed within me?”
“How do I release these values into my ministry or church small groups through my priorities and practices?
And through the process of this ongoing conversation with the Lord, we get to take the destiny and purposes He’s woven in us and weave them into the ministries we lead, the people we develop and even outflow to the world around us
I think of the queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon in 1 Kings 10. In this account, it is written:
When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”
The queen of Sheba was overwhelmed by everything she observed in Solomon’s palace, even how his servants were organized! What’s more, she was able to discern God’s delight over Solomon and His love for Israel from this meeting. I think of this story and I wonder, what conversations Solomon must’ve had with the Lord as he dreamt destiny and purpose into every fine detail of his courts! Is it possible for us to experience the same? That as we speak to the Lord and dream with Him to shape the culture of our ministries, that every decision and detail would emanate God’s delight and love for us!