Leading your church through a cultural shift is a long-term process.
Only adding a new ministry, making a change to an existing ministry, or giving your church a new name is not a surefire way to change your church’s culture. These types of efforts are merely external and do not necessarily lead to internal changes.
If you want to lead your church through a cultural change, say, you want to encourage your church to become more evangelistic, then you need to prepare yourself for purposeful work over time. Let us compare this to fixing a problem with your car.
When you have a problem with your car, you can have this problem repaired by a mechanic, which is a purely technical issue. Now, what if the problem you are having with your car is caused by the way you drive or your lack of maintenance? Well, you can fix your technical issues. However, you will continue to have the same problem with your car until you change your behavior.
Here’s the moral of the story: You cannot implement changes too soon if the culture of your church is not ready to accept those changes.
To help lead your church through a cultural shift, here are four ideas for you to consider.
#1. Cast a vision
Regularly cast a vision for your church.
Help them to see beyond what is to what could be. Connect the work of your church to the work of God.
You don’t have to make a big show of vision casting. But every week, every meeting, and every encounter you have with a member of your church find a way to let the people you meet know how their work is connected to God’s work.
#2. Express gratitude
As a church leader, it’s easy to forget that many of the people you work with are volunteers. Go out of your way to express gratitude. Let members, volunteers, and leaders know that you’re thankful for them.
You can send emails, texts, or letters as a way of expressing your appreciation for them and their work throughout the week, too.
#3. Know your leaders priorities
Do you know the priorities of your leaders? Do you know what’s important to them? Do you know the why behind their what?
Get to know the priorities of your leaders. Ask questions. Listen attentively.
Once you better understand what’s important to the leaders within your church, then you will be in a better position to know what roadblocks you will run into with the changes you would like to make.
#4. Implement short-term experiments
People tend to be less resistant to short-term experiments than permanent changes. If there’s a big change you would like to make, consider starting with a short commitment, say six-months, and invite people to provide feedback along the way.
‘Implementing a short-term change will place you in a better position to test the readiness of your church for a permanent change.
The steps above will not lead your church to make immediate changes. But, over time, you will be able to place yourself and your church in a position to make the changes you have set out to make.