Church culture – who owns, creates and is responsible for it?

I recently saw the quote “the culture of your church is a reflection of its leadership” it resonated with me and made me feel good … for a second.

I want to make one thing clear from the start, God is the leader and owner of every church, if you think otherwise stop reading now and celebrate the great work of community organisations owned by mere mortals. Church is more than a building, more than worship, a sermon series or a pastor. Church is a collection of God’s children.

Now back to the quote. As mentioned above, it made me feel good but that feeling passed quickly. I soon discovered that I was feeling good because I was not only shirking responsibility but loading blame on others.

It is only fair that I mention it now that my home church is facing leadership struggles and this undoubtedly influences my thoughts. Regardless, I want to challenge the statement that culture reflects leadership.

Sure leadership is going to influence the culture like it does every aspect of the church but no more than it does influence the choice of worship music and the colour of paint on the walls. Maybe it will help if we define culture: the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

Clearly we all have a role is creating and cultivating our church culture.

Every interaction that is made, welcoming that is given or not, prayer that is offered (public and person alike), and word that is spoken have an impact and influence of your Church’s culture. In the same way that this blog post and my thoughts on the topic will be reflected in my influence on my Church culture.

Lord, I pray that I and everyone who reads this is encouraged to take responsibility for the culture that surrounds them. I pray they realise their impact, positive and negative and that to hold one person or a group of leaders accountable for Church culture is not how you intended Church to be. Thank you Father. Amen