Don’t Give An Order, Create A Culture

In America, if you want a sure fire way of winning on the stock market, stay at home and watch golf on the TV. The analysts have figured out that every time Tiger Woods plays in his home country, share prices soar the following day.

From the US Masters in 2000 to May 2001, it didn’t matter if he won or lost – as long as he played. Why? He created a feel good culture amongst executives and punters alike. Happy people are optimistic people. Confidence rose.

In your church, there is a culture at work whether you believe it or not. Its force is staggering and its results are predictable. People are a product of their environment. Why do showbiz people often have showbiz parents? Robbie Williams’ dad is also an entertainer. Lee Evans’ dad was a comedian. Shania Twain’s mum was a singer. The answer – culture. Great churches have great cultures created by great leaders.

Culture will determine what grows and what doesn’t. Creating a hothouse environment will cause Amazonic growth, while creating an ice house will cause Arctic growth. A cynical environment creates cynics and a diligent environment creates diligence. If culture plays such a powerful role in shaping people’s lives, we need to create a culture in our churches that produces the results that we really, really want, rather than the results we put up with.

FIRE FIGHTERS – Many leaders are primarily involved with eliminating fires rather than creating them. Fires of controversy and conflict abound, yet fires of enthusiasm and sacrifice remain unkindled. Many leaders allow other people to determine their churches’ culture. Dominant people with self seeking motives create cultures of inferiority and supremacy. Unconfident leaders create people unwilling to commit to any major initiative.

Here’s ways to create a Champion Church Culture that creates Champion Churches.

[1] Promote all of the right people
It’s essential that the people that are lifted up, on public display, admired and revered to all exhibit what you want your church to become. Putting the right people in all the right places does wonders to changing the atmosphere. I have many people who exhibit the attitude and disposition I want everyone to have. There are people whose ‘excellent’ spirit is the future of the entire church. I will only involve people with a heart of faith and total heart for the house of God.

You need to place the right people on the welcome team, on the announcements, on the testimonials and on the projection system. In so many places, many valuable minutes are taken by ardent prayers and prophesiers who do not hold the heart you want to foster. Sound desks are notorious for harbouring a different spirit to the one needed to building a powerful church. It’s time to fill up the service times with prayers and involvement from the carriers of the DNA you want to see and squeeze out all other life forms.

In our church, we regularly give presents and awards to people who have done well or simply to unknown heroes. We deliberately exalt the humble to create a culture filled with humility. Those demanding recognition never get it. They’re always pipped to the post by the lowly.

What you tolerate you will not change. It’s time to bring certain people who will not change to an end of a ‘season’ and move in the living radiators of the culture desired.

[2] Build the right team
It’s always difficult to challenge bad attitudes and it’s impossible to directly challenge pride head on (it always denies that it is in any way to blame). The best way to change a team is increase it with people who live in the culture you hold to. Often they’re your true ‘sons’ of the faith. The sheer momentum of the new culture will clash with the now lesser momentum of the old. Issues are no longer debated on an even match. The old ways move aside to the new culture.

[3] Create a partnership program
Bring all of today’s programs to a conclusion, except for the ones that you and your team are directly at the helm of. Create a partnership class that creates partners in the vision, rather than members of the church. Teach the true values of the early church, the true purpose of the church and the new expectations you’ll be expecting! If we are the body of Christ, if He died for the church and if we are Christ’s ambassadors, we’ll need to walk worthy of the calling. It has to mean – no more being late, regular attendance, the growing of tithes and generous offerings, involvement in a department and quick conflict resolutions. If people want to rise to being partners, let them agree to the five or so expectations of effective partner’s. It raises the game. It makes the end of the old and marks the beginning of the new.

[4] Create a personal culture that’s indestructible
We are not primarily preachers but living Epistles, read by all. Our lives give away all of our beliefs. People become what we are in private, not what we profess in public. It’s essential for leaders to create a private culture that encourages all of Christ’s attributes and in increasing measures.

A leading leader needs to lead the way in every value of the church. You can’t rarely pray and have a praying church, even with a regular intercessors group. It’s the role of leaders to intercede. You can’t have a faith-filled church if your private world is filled with cynicism and doubt. Every leader must walk worthy of the calling and be the example.

[5] Do sermon series
One of my congregation was shocked that I should preach on enthusiasm and see so few turn out for the night meeting. I told him to hold on – people rarely change because of one sermon. Guest speakers, rarely impact churches. Continued, unrelenting reaching of a word from God creates a culture that creates the outcome desired. People often say that God has spoken to them and the scripture or truth they declare is the same as that preached in the series – the one before the last. They don’t realise that but the ownership of the truth makes the authorship irrelevant!

[6] Celebrate the small victories
London is a city filled with monuments. Our churches shouldn’t be transfixed by past monuments – but creating new ones from today’s successors. David’s mighty men slew giants because they were raised in a giant slaying culture. David slew a giant because he was raised in a bear and lion slaying culture. He celebrated his smaller victories that led to greater victories. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Acceleration is more important than velocity and momentum is more important than size. If things are taking off, celebrate every act and every encounter associated with it. It will create!

[7] Don’t keep up with the Jones’
It’s better to have a worship team without a drummer than use a drummer who lives by his own agenda. It’s better to have no team than a bad team. Some have said recently that people need a sense of belonging before they take on a sense of believing. I don’t believe it. People who have no faith in my church never get a true sense of belonging. It’s essential that I don’t create a surrogate sense of belonging through encouraging participation and ignoring culture. Church is first and foremost about discipleship and then from out of discipleship is true faith in Christ. Let that be our guiding core value to our church culture.

When a culture is created and nurtured, so many of the things that once caused you to bang your head against the wall no longer occur. Peer pressure takes precedent. Latecomers are a minority. Miserable people stand out a mile. Flashy people don’t seem to fit in any more to the fabric of the church. New converts succeed more readily and excel more steadily as they draw in the nutrients that are in the soil of the church. Attitude checks are done by the forth rank of leadership, not always by the first rank. Everyone knows what’s wanted and what’s expected. Everyone pulls their weight, spearheading and tweeking become the domain of core leadership. Fire fighting becomes a past time.

6 thoughts on “0

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