12 Questions to Evaluate Your Church’s Culture

Post Icon

Every church has a culture, whether it be positive or negative. The problem, though, is that too few churches take time to consider their culture – and they seldom grow. Maybe some of these questions will help you review your church’s culture:

  1. Is church for your congregation a Sunday event, or is it a life-on-life commitment? Church that is “Sunday only” seldom leads to significant life change; on the other hand, life-on-life church is attractive and transforming.
  2. Can your members state and explain your church’s mission statement? If not, it’s likely the church hasn’t adequately created a culture around its mission.
  3. Do members want to serve through your congregation? Churches with a culture of service not only challenge members to get involved, but they also make it easy to know how to serve.
  4. If I were absent from worship services for a few weeks, would I be missed? I realize church size matters here at some level, but a culture of pastoral care will lead a church to follow up on absentee members.
  5. Would other believers and the community turn to your church for prayer support? Not many churches have a culture of prayer – but those who do make a difference in a dark world.
  6. When was the last time your church sent out your best to be church planters or missionaries? If your church hangs on to your best and seldom calls out the called, your culture is probably inwardly-focused.
  7. Do missionaries on the field know how well your church supports missionaries you’ve sent from your congregation? Missionaries talk, both about churches who ignore their sent-ones and about those who care deeply and consistently from a distance.
  8. Do guests and members recognize excitement and joy when your church gathers for worship? I admit this is a feeling question, but emotion does indicate something. Churches who love to worship God make that evident, and they talk about Jesus and their church in the streets.
  9. Do your leaders protect their turf, or are they joyfully committed to producing the next generation of leaders? Cultures of protection are stifling and unhealthy; cultures of reproduction are exciting and visionary.
  10. Does your church have a clearly stated and followed discipleship strategy? Churches that reach non-believers, lead them to Christ, and then help them grow with intentionality simply have a different kind of culture.
  11. What does the community believe about your church? Their perception may not be accurate, but it’s not wrong to view perception as reality. Often, your community will have an accurate perception of whether your church is a vibrant or dying one.
  12. Does your church practice evaluation and improvement? If not, your church’s culture is probably stagnant at best. Let these questions move you in a different direction.

What is the culture of your church? What questions would you add?

  • Church
  • Culture
  • Leadership
Chuck Lawless

Director of the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership

Dr. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions, Dean of Doctoral Studies, and Vice-President for Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary, in addition to serving as Team Leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board. He previously served as a Vice-President for Global Theological Advance for the IMB. Prior to that, he was dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he also served as Vice President for Academic Programming and the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies. He received a B.S. degree from Cumberland College and M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. He is the author of eight works, including “Membership Matters,” and “Spiritual Warfare,” and has contributed numerous articles to denominational periodicals. He and his wife Pam have been married for over 25 years and reside here in Wake Forest, NC.

More to Explore

Never miss an episode, article, or study.

Sign up for the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership newsletter now!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.