Creating a Unified Church Culture
Culture has changed. That means the church must change. This isn't a new statement, but what does it mean for pastors and church leaders? How do we make changes in our churches when so many people are comfortable with the status quo? This blog provides four steps to help churches navigate through these waters and make the necessary changes for the future. Whether you're just starting in ministry or have been at it for years, these steps will help you see needed change and implement it in your church.
1. Develop a Clear Vision
Your church needs a clear vision if it is going to be successful. This means developing a mission statement and core values that everyone in the church can agree on. It also means having a plan for how you will achieve your vision. When everyone has a clear idea of where the church is headed, it will be easier to unify the congregation around a common goal.
This may mean that you need to revisit your vision. And you will need to speak the vision so that everyone understands it. I'm frequently asked how much a pastor should speak about vision, and the answer is straightforward: if you didn't say anything about your vision last week, you're not talking about it enough. In other words, include it in each message! Yes, every week! Every message!
2. Create Opportunities for Participation
One way to unify the church is to create opportunities for participation. This means allowing everyone in the church, regardless of age and position, to play an active role. If you do not give people a voice and allow them to contribute, it will be difficult for them to feel as though they are part of the team.
All ages need to be a part of the team. Not just occasionally, but continuously. For instance, many times churches try to do this with teens by having a special youth Sunday where the teens do the service. That is great but that's not being a part of the team. The teens need to be a part of the team every week. If you are not experiencing growth in your teen ministry it may be because you are not really making them a part of the church. Work on involving youth in volunteer positions on the weekend or bring your youth into the service for worship.
3. Value People over Programs
Programs will come and go, but people remain. If you lose sight of this and become more focused on the programs, you will eventually start losing members. Instead, put your faith in your people and make them feel valued for who they are as individuals. Putting value on people will help unify your church.
This often doesn't happen because a church may value performance over people. Not intentionally of course. But many churches expect perfection from their people, and when they don't get it, they move on to someone who can perform. This attitude doesn't help anyone, including the church. This is also one reason we don't allow kids and teens to actually be a part of the team. God wants our best as an act of worship. Our best as a church will never be nor should it be measured against the church down the road.
4. Create a Sense Of Belonging
Everyone should feel as though they belong and that they have a role to play. You can help members perceive themselves as a vital part of the community by encouraging them to get involved with certain programs, teams, classes, or groups. This will help them feel as if they are a valuable asset to the church. The biggest shift needed in most church cultures is that all generations need to have a sense of belonging.
This requires some time and creativity on your part, but it is well worth the effort. The more people see themselves as an integral part of your church family, the more likely they will be returning each week - and bringing friends with them! This is not about creating a family ministry. It is about creating a sense of belonging for everyone regardless of age or position.
Coming up with a plan
There are many ways you can unify the church and make everyone feel as though they belong.
It is important that every member feels like they have an active role to play within your congregation so that they may participate more fully in how things work on Sundays - but also throughout the week when not at church too. They should recognize that they are the church!
About One Voice
At One Voice, we know you want to be the leader or pastor your church deserves. To do that, you need to be focused on the ministry to which God called you. The problem is you just don’t have the time to do everything that is expected of you as well as you would like. That can leave you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
Here’s how to get started.
- First, subscribe to One Voice and get access to a library of intergenerational Biblical teaching prepared for you.
- Second, implement One Voice using our collection of video tutorials that walk you through everything you need to know to be successful.
- Finally, refocus on the ministry God originally called you to serve!
We can’t take everything off of your overfilled plate, but we can give you a large chunk of your time back and help you unify your congregation under our intentional and Biblical curriculum.