I was in a discussion yesterday with a friend in regards to forming or changing organizational culture - specifically related to churches or organizations in transition.
One of our points of discussion was how everything we do right now in our churches and/or businesses will determine the type of culture our organizations will reflect down the road.
This is especially proven in churches everywhere. Think about it. Look at any church in decline (you don't have to look far...) and what you will find is not necessarily a declining building or campus, but rather a culture that promotes and enables the types of actions and attitudes that lead to decline.
Our own story:
For two years now, our leadership team has devoted ourselves to changing the culture and attitude of an entire church community. It’s been killer. We’ve all lost a little bit of hair and now have some grays showing up (or maybe that’s what turning 30 means…).
But guess what? By the grace and help of God, it seems to be working. The entire “feel” and culture of our church has completely turned around. Attitudes are completely different (from “hold me tight” to “let me go and lead!”), morale is strong (even in the summer – which is a miracle in and of itself), and the health of the church has gone from somewhat cancerous to very alive.
How? Good question. A very large part of it is a completely, 100% act of God. There is mystery here. I sit and watch what is happening or I listen to someone’s story and almost every time, it causes me to take a small step back and become hugely aware of the reality and action of God.
Not all of it is mystical. In fact, a large part of the “act of God” involved us (the leadership of the church) taking intentional steps to make some major shifts in the way we do church and the way we lead.
Examples: The way we embrace or run from change, the overall attitude towards excellence, leadership accountability, the focus towards intentionally creating environments where people feel safe and accepted, and modeling the priority of intentional relationship building with unchurched people.
And that’s not even half.
And now, 2 years later, we are realizing that everything we do NOW (after our “transition”) will determine the type of church culture we have 5, 10 or 15 years from now.
We’ve shifted, we’ve transitioned. And now - what we do, how we act and what we model will shape the future of our church community. What a privilege – yet so freakin’ scary.