It’s amazing how often when I am discussing church leadership, ministry leadership , or church planting, I always end up at culture.
As leaders, we must be highly attune to culture.
I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend time talking about multisite campus leadership and church planting with the couple who is going to plant and lead Saddleback Church’s new campus in Manila.
Sharing ideas about leading a church in Orange County California, or to be more exact, South Orange County California with a couple who is about to plant a Saddleback Church campus in the Philippines will inevitably led to point in the conversation where we talked about culture…and the differences in culture.
Culture Must Be Accounted For
Culture is king. Culture will eat your strategy and your plans for lunch.
But I am not necessarily talking about the culture of geography and location, but the culture of leadership.
Your church, your ministry team, your multisite campus…has a culture.
Creators of Culture
As leaders, we must be constantly aware that we are not just leading church, a team, or a group of people…we are also leading a culture.
But it goes further than that…as leaders we should be creators of the culture.
1. We are CREATORS of culture. We must build it, not let it simply arise.
2. We are COMMUNICATORS of culture. We must reinforce it with our words and deeds.
3. We are CURATORS of culture. We must collect stories and examples that reinforce who we want to be and share it throughout the church or the organization.
4. We are COLLABORATORS with the culture. We must include others in creating, communicating, and curating the culture. One person cannot do it all.
Putting Culture To The Test
I recently listened to a podcast from Stanford University’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series. It featured Jocelyn Goldfein, who serves as Director of Engineering for Facebook.
Facebook’s culture is one that in essence says, “Move fast and break things.” That is great cultural aspiration if the culture actually supports it. Jocelyn shares a great story that demonstrates the test of culture.
At some point in her work, Jocelyn breaks something. A big thing. She put the cultural aspiration to the test. The culture did not punish her, condemn her, or view her negatively. Instead, the culture moved fast, fixed it, and learned from it.
Culture will be tested. When it is tested it makes clear what is the “stated culture”, that culture that is usually framed on the wall or laminated on posters, and the “true culture”, that culture that is truly present in your church or organization.
Jocelyn’s culture stood true when tested.
Will yours? (This is a leadership question)
As I told my new friends who are headed to Manila.
You are not just planting a church….you are planting a culture.