Creating The Culture

Our pastor asked the staff to start thinking about the culture that is being created in the office.  Nothing is wrong, he just wanted us to reflect on the culture.  It’s an important exercise because who you are as a team will seep out and affects those you are trying to serve.  If the culture is good, people will be drawn to it.  If it’s dysfunctional all you will attract is more dysfunction.  So when it comes to determining the status of your team’s culture you can start by looking at the following areas:

  • Humor – Are people constantly digging into others or is it harmless banter?  It’s great to laugh as a team, to bring each other joy; however, if there are heart issues humor can turn real ugly, build up resentment and push people away.  You want to have fun, but not at the expense of others.
  • Communication – How well you produce is determined by how well you communicate.  Are notifications to the team being sent out last minute?  Are emails unedited and too long?  Are you relying on telepathy?  While there are a million ways to communicate, if it isn’t healthy it will create tension in the team.
  • Atmosphere – While your team might not sing, “Hi Ho it’s off to work we go!” you want to make sure that people are glad to be here.  Are people saying hello to one another?  Is there a sense of community or separate silos functioning together?  If people are not working in community, then they aren’t going to move the ministry forward.
  • Habits – You need to look at whether or not people are skipping out early, showing up late or just doing enough to get by.  If your ministers are displaying habits that hurt the ministry you need to wonder where they are learning it from.  First place to look, yourself.

If you sense that the culture is sour, first place to look is inside your own heart.  If you are tired, burned out or frustrated your ministers will notice and it will affect them greatly.  Constantly examine yourself, while reflecting on the culture.  Don’t be afraid to get an outside perspective to help you see the larger picture.  After all the culture of your team will affect the culture of your ministry.

How do you determine the culture of your team?  What does a healthy culture look like to you?