“Culture eats strategy for Breakfast!” – Peter Drucker

It seems like so many churches and pastors go on about strategy and vision. These are good things which, if used right, will help churches to impact people, cultures and cities with the gospel. But I do know of a bunch of churches who have a clear strategy and a compelling vision and yet people are leaving their church or the church is not growing.

Why is this?

It may be that their culture is wrong.

Culture is the way your organization or church operates. Culture incorporates your customs, attitudes, etiquette, what you value and do not value, what you reward and what you put up with, what behaviour you tolerate and what behaviour you don’t.

Sometimes our culture does not match our vision or strategy. Say we have a vision to see a church grow to three hundred from two hundred. What a great vision! Can you imagine another 100 people coming to know Jesus? That would be awesome! But if you don’t have a church culture of evangelism and inviting friends to church/ evangelistic events/ evangelistic bible studies it will never happen. Or maybe you have a vision of a vibrant creative church that finds its identity in the gospel and the joy that it gives. Once again a great vision! But if you have a culture where people shut ideas down before they start and are overly critical the culture will squelch the creativity and will suck the joy and fun out of church.

Your culture needs to match your vision and your strategy. In fact Culture is far more important than strategy or vision. Last year I went to a church with no vision statement and no discernible strategy but the culture was upbeat and very evangelistic. This church was seeing people come to know Jesus all the time and it was planting churches.

Why was it growing?

Why was it planting churches?

Because it had the right culture

And church culture is more important than strategy or vision


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