Many church leaders spend a lot of time and energy trying to answer important questions revolving around personnel, systems execution, and strategy. But, as the leaders of Faith Family Church, an ARC church in Baytown, Texas, say, the most important question needs to be, “Who are we becoming?”
As Pastors Josh and Kara Joines say, the reason why answering that question is so important is because figuring out who you are first determines what you will do over time. It’s what they call the “who” before the “do.”
In other words, the pastors who planted their church with ARC (Association of Related Churches) believe that a church’s culture is more important than what it does. Below are some ways you can build that culture.
Define the Church’s Values
Some pastors may think that their members will simply understand what they are all about and what their mission is. That’s just not the case, though, as the Joineses say.
After meeting Phil Klein and his team at focus412, the pastors decided to craft ten values that supported their mission and vision as an ARC church. That’s important because values determine behaviors, and behaviors shape culture.
Values need to be articulated with clarity. They need to be specific. And they need to be about Jesus.
Craft the Church’s Language
Each church should craft its own language, which will consist of its standards and “sounds.”
These “sounds,” according to Josh and Kara Joines, are the insider language and catchy phrases that the church uses to reinforce its values. They help make the church unique, which, in turn, helps to connect members together.
Standards define expectations for the entire congregation. When members know what the expectations are, then they can work together to achieve anything.
Train the Church Team
A church is more than just the pastors that are leading it. It’s the leadership team that, as a group, helps to spread the message and lead all members.
Starting from the top, leadership needs to provide everyone with a blueprint for how they should behave. This helps to ensure that the culture at the church takes shape.
Training the church team in this way includes using the sounds and standards on a regular basis so that they become normal, everyday parts of everything they do. While it may not feel natural at first, over time, it starts to become that way.
According to the Joineses, church leaders have to constantly “inspect what we expect.” Since the mission of the church is so critical, its culture can’t be left up to chance.
It’s something that needs to be constantly analyzed, constantly evaluated, and constantly focused on. Leaders within the ARC churches network have to be intentional about evaluating every environment within the congregation and embody the culture every day.
Once you do that, everything else will end up taking care of itself.
About ARC (Association of Related Churches)
ARC (Association of Related Churches) represents a collaborative network comprising independent congregations from various denominations, networks, and backgrounds. Its primary mission is to provide essential support and resources to church planters and pastors, enabling them to effectively share the teachings of Jesus. ARC’s operational approach revolves around empowering and equipping church leaders, fostering the widespread dissemination of the life-changing message of Jesus. Established in 2000, ARC has evolved into a worldwide entity and has played a pivotal role in facilitating the establishment of over 1,000 new churches.