How to Build and Lead a High Performance Culture in Your Church

Life.Church named #1 best place to work

In 2019, Life.Church was named the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice #1 Best Place to Work for small- and medium-sized businesses. After ranking in the top 10 on this list for several years, the Life.Church team was thrilled and honored to receive this award.

Jerry Hurley, Team Development Leader and member of the Directional Leadership Team at Life.Church shared with us what it takes to build a high-performing culture.

“I get asked all the time, how do you manage the business and spiritual components of church? I don’t view those as two separate things, I view them as totally integrated. I think the Holy Spirit inhabits the business side of the church just as much as He inhabits the spiritual side of the church.”

How do we approach building a high-performing culture?

As churches and ministry leaders, we should be setting the standard and setting the stage for the whole world to look to us for a great representation of a life-giving and high-performing culture.

But what is a high-performing culture and why should we aim for this as our standard? Performance is all about expecting and inspiring our teams to do more than they ever thought possible. People want to wake up in the morning and be excited about where they work, who they work with, and what they get to do every day. We all should want 100% of our employees to be fully engaged in their work and in the workplace.

According to the Gallup Q12 survey, here’s a snapshot of the landscape of the workplace in 2019:

Vision Leaks and Culture Drifts

Culture is happening every minute of every single day, whether we’re paying attention to it or not. Our churches and teams have a culture. It’s automatic. Culture doesn’t wait to be defined by its leaders, it forms on it’s own as people join a team. This is why as church leaders, we need to be intentional about our culture.

There are so many components that go into defining culture. Everything at our churches and organizations is rooted and built from a set of values. We call this a value-driven culture. Values will determine: why we exist, what we do, how we’ll succeed, what’s most important, and how we’ll behave.

Are all of the values our ministries are built on the ones we’re intending? This is the best place to start in order to begin to understand and define our culture.

Types of Values:

1. Core Values — We want our values as a church or organization to align with the values of those that are on our team.

2. Permission to Play — We need to match the people that we want to bring onto our team with the actual pace of our team.

3. Aspirational Values — These are values that aren’t true of our organizations yet, but that we’d like to be true.

4. Accidental Values — These are counter cultural values that are happening on accident that we aren’t usually aware of.

Check out our Aligning Values at Life.Church.

What is the single most important contribution a leader can make to any organization?

Selecting the right people to be on the team. — People leave leaders, not organizations. We can overestimate our ability to lead people to a standard of our organization. We can’t put DNA into people, but we can find the people that have the DNA already in them that we’re looking for on our teams.

Why is this important?

We all need to be an accurate representation of our culture. When we’re surrounded by people who are living out our culture, we’ll all be consistently reminding each other of the culture every day.

Watch Pastor Jerry Hurley’s session “Building a High-Performing Team” free on the Open Network. 

When we build a high-performing culture in our churches, we’re actively empowering and motivating our team to accomplish all that God has set in store for our ministries. We represent the Gospel of Christ to so many people, so eternity is on the line if we don’t put in the time to produce the right culture. God can influence so many more lives when we shift our culture to one that is consistently and intentionally life-giving and high-performing!

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