Everything has a culture!
- Your life has a culture.
- Your marriage has a culture.
- Your home has a culture.
- Your business has a culture.
- The stores you shop at have a culture.
- Even churches have a culture.
WHAT IS CULTURE?
Culture is the way an organized group thinks, emotes, and behaves. These "heart" values become the group's instincts. You can feel the culture when you first initiate it. A new person will pick up the non-verbal communication of the group long before they hear the verbal communication. A culture is the non-verbal projections the group has evolved with, whether intentional or not. Experts say that church guests will decide in the first 7 minutes if they will return. In church experiences that is long before the worship band or preaching ever takes place. This happens through the accepted emotional culture we have allowed to evolve.
Cultural non-verbal communications happen through:
- Street banners (Are they excellent, cared for and clear? Or, are they disheveled, wrinkled, and barely hanging on? Are they placed on a consistent time each week?)
- Attitudes of any one person (volunteer team members to other arriving attenders; are they happy, energized and hosting a party, or are they tired, stale, unengaged or simply working a shift?)
- Parking lot hosts, order of the parking lot and ease of the parking experience
- Grounds maintenance and quality of the exterior first impression (Is the lawn mowed, weeds pulled, the island mulched, bushes trimmed, and/or windows washed?)
- Self-care of the volunteers (from hygiene, to fashion, to hair styles, etc.)
- Greeters (Do guests feel any pressure? Are we giving people room for anonymity while being present and emotionally available to connect?)
- Facility cleanliness (carpets, ceiling tiles, bathrooms, KidsLife Rooms, chairs in sanctuary, coffee kiosk and containers, etc.)
- Interior design (Is it pleasant to the eyes, emotionally inspiring and soothing, does anything seem out of place, etc.)
- Energy (Do the volunteers and attenders seem to have energy, or does the environment and teams feel stale?)
- Smells (Are the scents and smells pleasant and soothing, or pungent and uncomfortable, or unnoticeable all together?)
- Helpfulness and connection (Do our Team members have a proactive helpfulness, placing people above processes? Or do we focus on structure and tasks, unaware of the people we are serving?)
- Have preparations been made? (Do the "curb to the congregation" experiences communicate preparations for an excellent encounter, or does it communicate mediocrity is the most we will give to a guest's experience with God?)
These are examples of unspoken values that are a part of every organized group. All of these unspoken values, positive or negatively executed, affect how new people experience the group. The way we allow ourselves to think will create the emotions we project and ultimately the behaviors we have. That is culture.
YOU ARE THE CULTURE
People will experience our culture first. Culture comes from each individual. YOU are the LifePointe culture. YOUR way of thinking, emoting and behaving is what our guests will experience. And throughout the weeks the culture will always dictate the outcome of our guests long-term experiences. Therefore we must focus heavily on training, retraining and holding our group accountable to the values we really want to live.
It is culture that defines WHO we ARE. Vision defines WHERE we are going. Strategy defines HOW we are going to get there. WHO we ARE (culture) is more important than WHERE we are GOING (vision), or HOW we will get THERE (strategy). Our investments of labor will always be short-circuited by WHO we have allowed ourselves to BECOME. We will never be what we merely WANT to be, we will only be what we ALLOW ourselves to be.
THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS AND BEHAVIORS CREATE CULTURE
Every organized group values something. Not all values are intentional, spoken, written, or even articulated; but all groups have values. Values tell us what we really love… and what we don’t, what really breaks our hearts… and what doesn’t, what really triggers righteous anger… and what doesn’t.
Culture is more than a brand, logo, font, signage, buildings, and layouts. Culture is driven by our values. Values are the emotional and behavioral roots that culture grows from. Our culture is only as powerful as the commitment to a certain set of values. Culture requires we let go of lesser things to lay hold of greater things. However, letting go of lesser things will often create friction, tension and conflict. For a healthy, intentional culture to grow, we must move beyond the friction, even if it costs our group something, or even someone.
Culture creates every unique environment, from the parking lot to KidsLife, and from the bathrooms to the sanctuary. It is impossible for an environment to overcome an unhealthy culture. We can dream, rally, shout, praise and even pray; but we will have whatever we allow our culture to be, not what we dream.
Culture doesn’t mysteriously manifest. Culture is embodied. We know that we cannot build a culture unless we are prepared to BE the culture. Culture is only ever as strong as its lowest common denominator. It’s not enough to just decide on a particular culture. How the team members think, emote and behave within the church will set both the pace and the level of our culture.
MATURED CULTURE EASILY RECOGNIZES VIOLATIONS
When culture is matured (when the thinking, emotions and behavior is matured) in a church, any outlier will set off emotional alarms to the organized group. As an example, if your household is one that esteems cleanliness, even practicing the taking off of shoes before transitioning to the carpeted areas, and someone comes in your house and on to the carpet with mud-caked work boots, it will violate the culture. No one has to say anything, or point it out to the insiders, but those accustomed to the culture will FEEL the impact of this incongruent behavior.
The same can be said about a church. When a church has developed a no-compromise culture of honor, and then gossip, negative attitudes, stale energy, incompetency, insubordination, tardiness, and half-hearted serving will violate and grieves those who know the intent of the culture. Allowing such thoughts, emotions and behaviors to go unchecked, uncoached and unaccounted for is enabling the culture to derail to dysfunction.
When a different spirit is allowed, unchecked and unaccounted for the culture will descend to their spiritual condition, not the other way around. No matter how many dreams, capital campaigns and great preaching messages we have, we will never overcome the violators of culture.
LEADERS PROTECT AND PROMOTE CULTURE
I heard a CEO of one of the Fortune 500 companies say that his "primary role as CEO is to hold the entire organization, from the executives down through the flow chart, to the core values of the organization." That is because values create culture. Without the right culture you cannot have the right outcomes of mission and vision.
Our mission, vision, strategies, and goals carry little power unless we identify the appropriate culture, then live by the habits that cause such an outcome.
A Leader at LifePointe is an influencer, some even have boxes on a flow chart. In other words, not all Leaders have a title. A true Leader cares more about the culture than an individual's feelings. Love cares about the vast and potential numbers of people that a violated culture will prevent from encountering Christ appropriately. At LifePointe, if you want to be a Leader, begin by embodying the values of LifePointe. Then begin holding the organization, individuals and work projects to that standard.
THE LIFEPOINTE WAY
At LifePointe, we call our culture "The LifePointe Way." This is our way of thinking, emoting and behaving. It is viral. It is life changing. It is heroic!
We would prefer to coach everyone up to our values. On the other hand, we would rather have the right culture and an empty position, than a filled position with the wrong culture. Any behavior, or attitude, that is unfitting within the culture must be re-directed, corrected and changes required. At LifePointe we are committed to over react to issues of culture. And to us, this is expressing the greatest love to the greater number of people.
As a LifePointe Team member we ask that you help us protect and promote a right culture at LifePointe. If we get this right, we will see many come to faith in Christ. If we get this wrong, eternity will only tell what could have been. God's grace is on us. 2017 is the year that changes everything!!
ROLE PLAYING - THE THINGS WE SAY!
We would to show our preparations to guests/attenders each week by creating repeatable and uniform greetings, goodbyes and various other communications. This is a part of the LifePointe Way, the culture we are creating, that helps guests experience us in a specific way.
- “Welcome to LifePointe. We are glad you are here.”
- “We are honored you came today. Have an amazing week!”
RAISING EXPECTATION – PROPHECY OVER PEOPLE
- “God is going to do great things for you today!”
- “I know you are going to experience the presence of God today!”
- “You are really going to have fun. God is going to do something amazing today!"
RECEIVING GRATITUDE - OUR RESPONSE
- “My pleasure!” (Level 1 - first time)
- “My honor!” (Level 2 - second time)
- “I’m so happy I could help/serve!” (Level 3 - third time)
FEBRUARY 5-STAR HEROES
LifePointe Team Nights are so much fun with people who are serious about changing the world!! Heroes are people who are helping people. Tonight our 5-STAR HEROES are Natalia Herken and Kelly Herken. They serve on Mowing, Ushers, Cleaning, Greeter, and Preschool Teams. They look for details and excellence in ways no one sees. They embody the LifePointe heart of service. We are pleased to honor them with the LifePointe 5-Star Trophy, and the Red Hero Cape!
THE GAMES WE PLAY (AT TEAM NIGHT)
Each Team Night we have great food, team games, a vision message and role playing. Tonight our game was Drinko (Plinko). Way to go Jason Jason Regier, Evan Norris and Creative Team. You guys are amazing. The losers had to drink a cocktail mix of two beverages (lemon juice concentrate, cold brew coffee, chocalate milk, apple sauce, and Mountain Dew. We laughed, yelled, rooted and got grossed out. Well done!!
A big THANK YOU to Ramiro for an amazing feast of pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. Your generosity inspires us all!!