Culture is vital…I mean EXTREMELY vital to the success of your church or organization. A great vision can be destroyed by an unhealthy culture. I have heard it said like this, “Culture will eat vision for breakfast”.
So what is culture? Culture is when what you say and what you do line up. Culture is what people feel and experience in your church or organization. For example: I don’t want to just tell people I value them and that I love them, I want people to feel and experience value and love. That understanding goes beyond words, but is a set of values that are discovered through actions.
4 ways to create a healthy culture
1. You must clarify what you value.
A good way to do this is to ask yourself what do we want to be known for when people describe our church or organization?
Make a list of the things you want people to say about your organization. This list is how you develop and clarify your values and when your values are lived out it creates your culture.
At Bloom it was our desire that we create a culture that “Every Person Matters”! That every person that attends our services whether they’re new or not feels welcomed and loved. That we show they matter by honoring them every week by putting forth our best. Every person can be a part of a Lifegroup and every person can go through the process and get plugged in and start serving.
2. Quit talking about it and start doing it.
The culture you desire will never exist in the future if you don’t model it in the present. Culture starts with the leader. When we identify what our values are we immediately start modeling those values. Culture is not built upon excuses, but expectations. What are your expectations for yourself, for your staff, and for your volunteers?
If our staff or volunteers are not living out our culture it is either because we as the leaders are not modeling it, we have not clarified exactly what we desire, or we are ignoring teachable moments to train and build our team.
3. Understand it takes time
Culture is not built in a matter of days, but a matter of months. You have to be consistent with your values even when you think no one is getting it. Because when we continue to model, clarify, and teach your values they will eventually get it and they will start to live out that culture! It takes time and discipline to build lasting values.
4. Celebrate the wins
People will repeat what gets celebrated. Encourage and celebrate your team. Too many leaders are on the lookout to give correction and not enough are on the lookout to give affirmation. Give a public shoutout to someone who goes above and beyond, celebrate them on social media, send them a card, or give them a small gift. I promise you that when you celebrate wins the wins will multiply inside your organization and build a healthy culture.
Here is what you need to understand… Culture is the fuel for momentum and the heartbeat of your vision. If you want to see your organization move forward and see your vision fulfilled you must build a healthy culture!