Identifying church culture is a daunting task. We are filled with all sorts of preconceived notions about what a church should be, how comfortable we want to be and what we want to hear when we go to the church. There are probably more considerations than that, but we’ll go with these three for now.
What is You Church Culture?
Observation is key to discovering who you are and what you want to be or even what it would be like to be part of the church you are addressing. Observation (blinders off, preconceived notions set aside, prejudices gone) is how to start. It’s what you see, feel and hear. It’s what others might see if they weren’t you! Here’s an easy exercise:
Carefully think through these ideas:
• What is the location? rural? urban? suburban?
• How well is the property cared for?
• Are the ministries of the church designed to appeal to the demographic? (both outside and inside the church)
• How involved are the people in the pew?
• What kind of music to they hold dear or sacred?
• How would you describe the mood of the church? somber? vibrant? relaxed? etc?
• Are there creeds, rituals or doctrines that are sacred to the church?
• What are the core values and beliefs?
Obviously, there is much more to this idea of discovering your church culture, but these are good questions to think about and answer. They will help you understand what you would like to keep, what to tweak and what you need to change.
*For more thoughts on evaluating your church’s culture, check out Look Before You Lead, by Aubrey Malphurs.