Just like any nation or people group, I believe that every company, organization, church and even family has a culture. Culture, as I am using it, is defined by Webster as shared beliefs, values, behaviors and attitudes. It's the way we talk, the things we do, what is permissible and what is not, how we think, how we respond, how we dream (or don't)....it is the often unspoken reality of who we are as a people. I actually believe that the culture of an organization is speaking even before most people arrive.
So, here are a few things that I have been learning this year....a year that we have cast clear vision as a church!
- I think there are healthy and unhealthy qualities in every culture. The difference between a specific church culture and an entire national culture is that the church is intended to represent Christ as His body....hence, it has the mandate to weed out and remove bad culture (namely unrighteousness). Although I think every church will struggle somewhere with this, we should never settle for bad culture. I don't ever want CCF to!
- I believe that vision/purpose should form culture. Not the the other way around. I have seen CCF's purpose forming and reforming our culture this year. I think that is a great thing!
- It is VERY difficult to change culture. Culture is more like a promise....you either make it or break it. So, if it's bad culture, you have to break it and the remake it.
- I believe that unhealthy culture effects the leaders the fastest and hardest. Often others in the organization may not even feel it or know it's there. However, the leaders do and they strongly impact the temperature of the church. As a result, wounds will bleed and stain others. Don't kid yourself. I have learned that I do not hide it as well as I think. Defensiveness and "culture correction" can often happen passively in messages and other forums. I know because I have been guilty. I believe that leaders must find godly and healthy ways to break unhealthy culture!
In some upcoming posts, I will share clear descriptors/adjectives of what I see as healthy church culture and what I see as unhealthy church culture.