I discovered a new coffee shop today. It’s by far the nicest in Canton, OH. The branding is unique and strong. The baristas are welcoming. The environment is very attractive and engaging.
There is only one thing the establishment is short on: Customers. About twice an hour, the door swings open and 1-2 people come in for a purchase. It begs the question: With everything this coffee shop is doing right, why isn’t it seeing better results?
I’ll bet you’ve wondered the same thing about your church. You work hard to build a unique brand. You train a team to welcome new guests. You spend countless hours creating an attractive environment. Yet doing the right things can still leave us all in search of results.
Here’s why I think this coffee shop struggles: Its leaders are more concerned with doing the right things than being the right organization. Being is not about branding, baristas, and environments. It’s about developing an organizational culture that engages people with a cause.
In the same way that a great coffee shop without a great culture is limited, many churches are also held back by their lack of attention to culture. It’s not that leaders don’t understand the importance of their organization’s being. But with weekly services and an array of programs to run, there is always so much to do.
So in the midst of ministry’s demands, how can you go about cultivating the culture of your church? You can start by keeping these three questions in front of your team:
1. Why does our community need us?
You are not the only church in town. But hopefully you meet a specific need of the town. Have you specifically defined that need? Is it clear to someone visiting your church for the first time?
2. How does all our doing align with the church’s mission?
When team members are not clear on the mission of your church, they naturally begin to pursue their own personal missions. This misaligned effort can send confusing messages about why your church exists. Are new staff members only given a job description? Or do they get a clear understanding of how their responsibilities directly impact the mission?
3. What is important to us along the way?
How you do ministry is just as important as what you do in ministry. When everyone leads with the same set of values, your sense of identity becomes so much stronger. Do you only manage your team to do the right things? Or do you coach them to lead with the right set of values? As an example, here are the operational values we run on at NewPointe.
Your church has much more to offer than mochas and lattes. But just like an empty coffee shop cannot succeed simply by doing the right things, your church needs a strong culture to engage your community. The next time you wonder why you can’t get results, look beyond what your church is doing and reconsider these questions about its very being.