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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?