One of the areas that has been on my heart a lot lately about Thrive Church is our Culture.
Culture defined is…
“the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization”
From the beginning, I believe it’s dyer of a church planter to pray about, dream about talk about and then create the culture they want for their church.
Culture is crazy important!
I know that a Church’s culture can make or break them.
If the leadership creates a culture of acceptance and then lives it out…99% of the time, the church will be accepting.
And, the opposite is true as well. If the leadership of the church begins to take their focus off the culture of acceptance, then guess what? The church won’t be accepting.
Because if seeds of negativity, inclusivity, gossip, slander, whining, pot-stirring, hate and spreading lies enter into the culture…well, look out for trouble.
Those are obviously the opposite of the kind of a culture a church should have, but believe it or not, it’s easy for them to sneak in and once they do…they destroy!
My dream and hope and plan from the beginning is to keep a careful and watchful eye on Thrive’s culture. And, not just me. I’m going to constantly cast the vision to create an incredible culture to our leadership team and volunteers.
So, speaking of Thrive’s culture.
My dream for Thrive’s Culture
1. Ridiculously Accepting & Welcoming. In 18 years of ministry I have never slowed down in casting vision to people that we must live lives that accept and welcome anybody and everybody and that will be true of Thrive.
That means, I will fight hard to create a culture that is opposite of a country club environment.
2. Over the top Caring. From the top down, I pray that Thrive will be a place that cares so well for people, that they in turn spread that same kind of care.
3. Focused on Jesus. Ok, this should probably be number one, but it’s always number one. It’s amazing to me that sometimes christians and churches start to take their focus off Jesus. Thrive will be a place where we always talk about Jesus, dream about Jesus and share Jesus!
4. Over and Above Givers. Jesus taught us to give from the overflow of our heart and to never be a cheap giver. My prayer is that Thrivers will be HUGE givers. With their time, their energy and their finances.
5. Huge fun. Yes, I want Thrive Church to be fun. I want it to be marked with laughter and joy and smiling. I’m tired of being around christians who can’t laugh! We will laugh.
6. Living life in circles. To borrow a phrase from Andy Stanley, I pray that 100% of Thrivers are committed to and are investing in a growth group. I believe passioantely in small groups and believe all Jesus followers should do life with a small group of believers.
7. Crazy Simple Simplicity. I am not a huge proponent of a million ministries and programs at a church. So, I am going to keep focused on keeping Thrive focused on our big three.
Next Steps…Helping people take their next step with God
Life Together…Connecting with other people to live out the Acts 2
Go Out…Unleashing Compassion into our community in schools and planting churches.
8. Embracing Change. I love change! I really do and I believe Churches should love change as well! The message of Jesus never changes, but the ways and methods of reaching people need to change as culture changes. We will not have sacred cows. Ok, maybe a few…we’ll meet together on Sundays, we’ll meet together in growth groups and we’ll pour out compassion to the world around us!
9. Reliance on the Holy Spirit. Yes, simple. We have to rely on the work and conviction of the Spirit in our lives personally and corporately!
10. Replication of Leaders. I don’t have a better way to say, but leaders have to replace themselves. When they don’t, you have 20% of the church being the church and the other 80% watching. Don’t get me wrong, this is tough! But, I believe, we have to make this part of our culture from the beginning!