Everyone loves the idea of being part of a healthy & vibrant church. But remember this: great churches don’t just happen. They need to be carefully crafted and cultivated on the values of God’s Kingdom. Without this intentional focus, the best case scenario might be mediocrity. Worse still, toxicity develops where growth gets crushed and negativism rules the day.
Our heart for the Junction Church is to ensure healthy culture pervades everything we do. Leading church is a bit like a gardener weeding the soil so the plants can bloom. Yup, it can be thankless & inconvenient at times – but this is a small price to pay compared to the joy of seeing people flourishing in an environment of faith and becoming everything they can be.
Here are 5 things that kill healthy culture:
This is the mistaken idea that healthy culture just happens. Nothing could be further from the truth. A culture of assumption eventually leads to a fruitless environment where nothing gets done and blame abounds. The way to protect against it is thoughtfulness & careful communication. ‘How can I serve?” is always a good question.
Healthy culture will always ask ‘how can we get better?’. Meanwhile, a culture of complacency says ‘This is great. We’ve made it’. With the latter, the moment we think we’ve ‘made it’ is the surest sign yet that we haven’t. Complacency is the silent killer of great culture.
It was Paul Scanlon who said ‘Church is a bit like a bus – people get on and people get off.‘ Healthy culture is profoundly relaxed about this. Unhealthy culture isn’t. So during times of coming and going, the latter becomes distracted rather than maintaining a focused commitment on the long term. Point is, if you build healthy culture, more people will come. It’s inevitable. Always beware of weapons of mass distraction.
How many offices are smothered by the toxicity of gossip? How many relationships have been undermined by careless whispers? Guess what….gossip knows no bounds. How many churches are filled with the stench of internal politicking? Wise people protect against it. It’s an endless cycle. Sow gossip, reap gossip. Sow encouragement, reap encouragement. At the Junction Church, we’re going for encouragement.
This is best demonstrated in the story of the prodigal son. When the son returned home, his elder brother refused to celebrate the Father’s grace in his younger siblings life. He felt threatened by him. This illustrates a culture of entitlement that panders to selfishness and refuses to celebrate others. Healthy culture is the very opposite – filled with people who serve faithfully but who are willing to be flexible so others can shine too. They know their identity is in who they are in Christ – not in what they do. When everyone gets a revelation of this, everybody wins.