The culture you create in your ministry will shape your students’ spiritual life more than anything else. Read that again because it’s important that you understand this and get it right for your students.
Many leaders I talk to secretly tell me that they don’t like the culture of the ministry they lead. They say things to me like, “I wish my students would…be more committed to attending…put youth group over sports,”…etc. They also tell me, “I wish my adult leaders would…put more time into reaching out to students…show up on time,”…etc.
What would you change about your culture?
You have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; right now, you can create an entirely new culture for your ministry.Here’s a leadership truth to remember: the culture of your ministry has more influence on your students than your leadership. Click To Tweet
And it’s not even close. You may be a great leader, but if your culture is working against your leadership, culture will win EVERY TIME.
Here’s how I define culture: the environment created by the beliefs and behavior of a community.
BELIEFS define your ministry.
BEHAVIORS drive your ministry.
BELIEFS are internal. They are your values.
BEHAVIORS are external. They are your convictions.
BELIEFS are what you value as important.
BEHAVIORS are what you fight for.
Let me give you a specific example. As a local youth ministry leader, one of our highest values that defined our ministry BELIEF was the Bible’s importance. We put it right in the middle of all we did…our gatherings, small group environments, and students’ lives outside of our ministry context. Therefore, our BEHAVIOR that we fought for was Bible engagement for as many students in our ministry as possible. We took this BELIEF and created structures and systems to support BEHAVIOR that valued Bible engagement.
Maybe a top value of yours would be…
…reaching spiritually seeking students,
…making every student feel loved by God and your team,
Right now is an opportunity for a reset for your ministry culture. Take advantage of this!
Many leaders are coming to grips with the reality that, for a lot of us, we are in a ‘rebuild’ of our ministry communities. While some things may “go back to the way they used to be” (aka ‘normal’), many things will never go back.
Here’s the good news for you: YOU GET TO CHOOSE your new culture coming out of this cultural and ministry transition. Here’s an easy way to remember this topic:
CULTURE > LEADERSHIP
Sit down with God in a quiet time and pray over this. Get with your adult and student leaders and pray and brainstorm. You have an amazing opportunity before you!
HERE ARE TWO FREE RESOURCES ON THIS TOPIC:
- The #1 Way to Build a Winning Culture in Your Ministry
Here’s a helpful conversation on practical steps on how to change a culture.
- Creating a Healthy Volunteer Culture
Here are some great thoughts from guest writer Becca Ebenhoch on volunteer culture.
Keeping loving those students!
Jeff Eckart, CEO
Never The Same
© 2021, Never The Same
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