Leadership Ministry: Effects on a Church's Culture

Leaders can have a great influence on the culture of the church:

  • what the church emphasizes
  • what is expected of people in the church
  • what perceptions people have of the church

Leaders can have a great influence on the culture of the church because they are in a position to challenge people's underlying beliefs and assumptions and consequently affect their attitudes and subsequently their practices.

The type of leader at the helm has
the potential to bend the culture in
certain directions.

The challenge for leaders is therefore to get it right so they bring to the church or ministry organization the right motivations, ambitions, balance, involvement, methods, and unity that will yield a healthy church culture.

If the leader does not get it right, the church will tend to reflect the type of leader at the helm rather than fully being the church God wants it to be.

Visionary Leadership & Church Culture:

  • Emphasis:  development of new ministry initiatives
  • Expectations:  Don't be satisfied with status quo. View change as the norm.
  • Perceptions of Others:  Here is a progressive church, a church on the cutting edge.

Administrative Leaders & Church Culture:

  • Emphasis:  schedules, programs, structures, methodology
  • Expectations:  Conform to standards. View checks and balance as the norm.
  • Perceptions of Others:  Here is a church that runs efficiently.

Shepherding Leaders & Church Culture:

  • Emphasis:  edification, benevolence, fellowship, hospitality
  • Expectations:  Make people a priority. View ministry to people as the norm.
  • Perceptions of Others:  Here is a church that meets needs.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with being a progressive church, or an efficient church, or a church that meets needs. Problems come when any of these is all you emphasize.

If all you emphasize is the development of new ministry initiatives, you could possibly end up not being ready to meet the needs that come with growth.

While change can be good, sometimes existing ministries are meeting needs and are worth keeping. Sometimes existing ministries simply need to be improved.

If all you emphasize is schedules, programs, structures, and methodology, you could get so hung up in maintenance that you may not see changes that should be made in order to better meet needs.

While checks and balances are necessary, they should assist in bringing about growth and the meeting of needs and not hamper it by too much red tape.

If all you emphasize is ministry, you could soon find everybody doing what is right in their own eyes rather than working together as a coordinated whole to reach the greatest potential in ministry.

While ministry is essential, discovering the best way of meeting needs and implementing strategies to keep it on track will help ensure that people do not fall through the cracks.

For the leader to get it right so the culture more fully reflects God's desires for the church than emphasizing certain qualities because of the type of leader at the helm, then the leader needs to bring himself/herself under constant critique.

The Leadership Ministry Manual includes this content and a guide to study some key related verses through the book of Ephesians to determine God's desires for your church and His means to get there. You are encouraged to evaluate if your leadership is helping your church or ministry accordingly.

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