How to Jump Start Internal Culture Change in your Church

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This insight is the “11th key” which I wrote following publication of my e-book, 10 Keys to Create a Dynamic Church Culture. You can get the 10 Keys e-book by clicking here


Culture is what people naturally do without being told to do so; it reflects the values, priorities, and practices of the group. For example, if people in the group (a church, family, business, etc.) all share a value for relational intimacy that will be reflected in people spending quality time together. So if it’s a church, they will probably have a lot of social events and small groups. If a church highly values knowledge they will tend to have more emphasis on teaching.

Understanding and harnessing the power of culture in your church can unleash powerful transformation. Culture is like a river and you can guide it by shaping the banks. If the river is strong and is going in the direction you want it to, you can toss a new person in the river and it will carry them where you want them to go without you having to micromanage them.

Shaping culture, and really all leadership, starts with being intentional. The senior leader needs to get the vision, work with the leadership core team so they share the vision, and then pass it on to the entire church. Working with your top leadership team is crucial.

But how can you shift the culture? How do you make significant changes in the boat when you’re already on the water and sailing along?

There’s a lot that I’m not covering here. See the 10 Keys e-book, and see the course on our website on How to Develop a Dynamic Church Culture.

But one way to jump start your church to begin to shift the culture is to do something special with your core leadership team

Supercharge Your Core Leadership Team with a Retreat

“You can’t give away what you don’t have.”

You and your core leadership team will be the primary producers or origin of your church culture (unless you aren’t leading intentionally, in which case tradition or stronger personalities will determine the culture).

Do a weekend retreat or at least a Fri Night and Saturday Day with you core leadership team and make sure you and your team understand and are experiencing and expressing the vision, values, priorities, and practices that you’ve defined.

  • Make sure you and your team are living and emanating the culture you want.
  • And then get practical and focused on how all of you are reproducing those values and priorities and practices in the people you are leading.

This will supercharge your core team to be producing the culture you want to see. And it will benefit you and your team in several other ways:

  • It will reward your core team with an experience and material that will help them develop personally and in their leadership skills.
  • It will bond you and your core team deeply.
  • It is very efficient: you can experience and change more in a concentrated weekend than in 6 months of one hour weekly staff meetings.
  • It shows value to your core and it encourages the rest of your leaders that you are actually spending quality time with your leaders, and that serving in the church has benefited personally.

Click here to download the 10 Keys to Create a Dynamic Church Culture for FREE

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