5 Inescapable Truths About Culture

Servant Leaders,

Do you want to change the “BIG PICTURE” of your ministry or organization in 2012? What follows are my notes on Andy Stanley’s 5 Inescapable Truths About Culture. Just click on the title below to listen to the podcast!

5 Inescapable Truths About Culture

Culture: That set of unwritten rules that determine how a people in an organization act, react, solve problems, treat people, live out expectations, approaches… the stuff that makes up the personality of the organization.

Culture incorporates Values: For example, excellence is a value. How we express (apply, live it out, etc) excellence creates our culture. Culture says, “This is how we do it here.”

Culture impacts how people carry out and focus on the vision/mission. It is difficult but EXTRAORDINARILY important to embrace cultural change.

Reality: Every church has a culture. What is ours?

Truth 1: Leaders shape the culture whether they intend to or not.

Leaders either adapt to the present culture (become invisible) or create culture (change agent).

What is the driving force of our culture? God may be blessing… but what is He blessing and to what end? When you are sure about this… protect it and promote it at all cost!

Truth 2: Time in erodes awareness of.

If you aren’t intentional… the longer we are in leadership the less aware we are of our culture (how we appear to others).

These first two truths compound one another. You have to build into your culture ways to stay aware… Guest Ready! For example… new staff/guest evaluations and “Opening Day” reviews.

Truth 3: Healthy cultures attract and keep healthy people.

Unhealthy people are attracted to unhealthy cultures. Healthy people have a low tolerance of unhealthy cultures… and they just leave. If we really want to be able to minister to unhealthy, hurting people, we must be healthy people in a healthy environment.

Unhealthy Indicators:

1 – Unhealthy (Consumers) people are drama oriented & healthy (Producers) are “get-it-done” oriented.

2 – Unhealthy people are self-focused and healthy people are others-focused.

3 – Unhealthy organizations use sideways energy and are busy, busy, busy… with little productivity (and wore out, uninspired leaders!). Healthy organizations are others-focused and use forward energy, resulting in high productivity (and energized, inspired leaders!).

Truth 4: The organizational culture impacts the long-term productivity of the organization.

Territorialism is replaced by collaboration. Red tape is replaced by simple systems that empower people. Feelings don’t get hurt and leaders don’t have to walk on “eggshells,” killing momentum and productivity again and again… and there is healthy growth!

Truth 5: Unhealthy cultures are slow to adapt to change!

The churches that grow the fastest and are the healthiest are those that are NOT focused on their church members. An unhealthy culture is generally focused inward, on itself and their back is to the marketplace. An unhealthy church resists change. Healthy churches seek outward focused, forward moving change and can act, react, morph, adapt and create in a high-energy environment. Members are cared for as, together, they share life and care for others!

“Does this really matter?” YES!

If our productivity is tied to eternal souls and impacting a culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ… then intentionally changing to a healthy culture matters!


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