Several months back we bid farewell to one of our leadership residents. During our final conversation I asked him to help me define the culture of Restore. Here’s what he said:
- Trust God: The leadership trusts God; not only trust Him but also believes that he’s at work in and through us.
- Generosity: We practice generosity in many forms. We find ways to bless the people around us whether they attend Restore or not.
- Feedback: Ours is a culture that offers feedback to leaders. The best way to grow as a leader is to ask for feedback from those around you. While this can be challenging, it inevitably leads to growth.
- Investing in People: We are serious about investing in people. We truly believe that we can help each other be more of who God created us to be. We encourage each other to always be investing in another person. Period.
- Sending: We are a sending culture. We commission people for mission and celebrate it.
Many church planters I meet tell me how they’re going to create this kind of culture or how they’re going to create that kind of culture. I am glad they are intentional about this topic. But I wonder can we really ‘create’ the culture in our church plants?
Some of these cultural pillars of Restore we did set out to create. Others, we did not. Some of them have simply emerged over time. In church planting, culture emerges from these four things:
- Beliefs. For the church planter this is Christology. What you believe about Jesus and the mission of the church will determine everything else.
- Values. These emerge from the shared beliefs of the members of your tribe or group.
- Practices. These are the things you do and encourage others to do in order to arrive at your values. You must be willing to do the work, spend the money, implement the system etc. to see your values emerge.
- Goals. Why does your community exist? What are you trying to do or accomplish?
To build culture you must be intentional your values and practices. You can’t sit down and white-board your cultural. It must emerge from practicing your values that have emerged from your beliefs.
Do you agree? How are you ‘creating’ culture in your church plant? What are those things that everyone can point to and say–that’s the culture of our church?