Culture During Crisis

As church leaders, our roadmap for 2020 has completely changed.

Many of us have shifted from in-person gatherings to church online, and we’re using new methods to pastor and serve our community.

As we navigate a new normal, our church culture and our values are what guide us in the right direction as we proceed into new territory.  

Why does this matter? Because what you value should influence your actions.

In a season of constant change, our values help us move our churches forward in the right direction.

Our Church Values

At Life.Church, we have a set of 10 aligning values. They’re called aligning values because they align our team, bringing unique individuals with different backgrounds and passions to a place of commonality and providing a framework for every decision. 

You can see the full list of them here, but our aligning values include: 

  • “We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things that no one is doing.” 
  • “We are all about the ‘capital C’ Church. The local church is the hope of the world, and we know we can accomplish infinitely more together than apart.”

These values continued to be the compass for our ministry decisions in 2020. For example, because we say we will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ, we were already doing church online to reach even more people for Christ.  

Also, because of our value “We are all about the ‘capital C’ Church,” we were already giving away the Church Online Platform free to churches, and our leadership team didn’t balk when our costs running the platform grew exponentially due to the volume of new churches looking for an online solution during COVID-19.

These are just a few examples of how our values have guided our decisions over the past few months in a season of constant challenge and change.

What about you? Has the crisis helped you more clearly see how your values shape your team and your church? Or, has this season made you ask the question: what do we value as a church?

Your Church Values

No matter your response to that question, here are a few next steps you can take as you build a culture that helps you live out the values of your ministry.

  1. Recognize you have values. Whether they’ve been set with great care and intention or they’ve been built by accident, your church already has a set of values. Want to know what you value?

    Do an audit of your decisions and conversations over the past 6 months:
    1. What themes and patterns do you notice? 
    2. What’s missing that you would hope to see?
    3. Is what you say you value reflected in those decisions?
    4. Would your staff be able to clearly articulate what your church values?
  2. Share your values. In a time where we seem more divided than ever, values can align your team toward your common mission—reaching people for Jesus. If you feel like your values have shifted during this season, help bring your staff back into alignment with what you value as an organization. Talk about your values as you make decisions or do a values audit as a leadership team to see if you’ve drifted from what you hold dear.

    If you’ve never formally set values for your organization, consider gathering your leadership team together to start the conversation.

Culture Resources

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. Watch this free training, including a Q&A on the Open Network.

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