Here’s something every senior leader needs to remember: An unhealthy internal culture prevents the creation of flourishing, thriving ministries.
At some point in time, every church staff member will face ministry friction. It’s inevitable. However, if that friction continues, it will change the entire culture of your ministry. In addition to dealing with them and finding resolution, we need to have a proper understanding of the implications of an unhealthy internal culture.
A few weeks ago, Deborah Wipf wrote a post about the behind-the-scenes, challenging people issues that occur in the back office at church and encouraged her readers with three tips to deal with these issues. For me, the post was a great reminder that an essential role as church leaders is to identify those internal cultural issues and then develop a plan for helping our teams overcome them.
How Can You Build a Thriving Ministry Culture?
If you want to build a ministry culture that thrives, here are four things you should do:
- Foster an environment where staff and volunteers feel cared for, communicated with, and trusted. Healthy staff culture and ministry success have a direct correlation to a leadership team whose first priority is seeking God and aligning with His purposes.
- Take care of staff like a well-run business. Businesses thrive if they exemplify the principle of taking care of their employees. Look no further than Zappos or Southwest Airlines. If leadership takes care of employees, employees will delight customers and customer satisfaction will please shareholders. In the same way, leadership in the church should foster a culture where staff can thrive. In so, they will be better able to minister to the church, and the church can make a massive impact in the community.
- Commit to authenticity. Inspire authenticity within your staff by practicing authentic leadership. Do you give your staff the opportunity to provide feedback each week? If you model transparency and vulnerability, they will too.
- Keep growing and learn from the best. If you want to dive deeper into the topic of creating a thriving culture, I encourage you to read Leadership Is an Art by Max DePree and Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute. Both books have been great resources to me in how to improve church culture.
The bottom line is, ministry that makes an impact cannot be achieved apart from a healthy, flourishing culture behind the scenes.
What is the current temperature of your culture? What changes do you need to make?