Groundhog Day is a celebration of an old tradition – Candlemas Day – where clergy blessed and distributed candles for winter, representing how long and cold winter would be.
Groundhog Day is also a 1993 movie starring Bill Murray that popularized the usage of “groundhog day” to mean something that is repeated over and over.
Many churches find themselves in their own version of groundhog day, living out a dream and vision that was once relevant, but now is long in the past. Unwilling or unable to face reality, they are simply repeating the past over and over.
Church leaders who find themselves in this situation have an excellent resource in Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code by Sam Chand.
“Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code” offers a practical resource for discovering the deficits in an existing church’s culture and includes steps needed to assess, correct, and change culture from lackluster to vibrant and inspirational so that it truly meets the needs of the congregation.
The book includes descriptions of five categories of church culture (Inspiring, Accepting, Stagnant, Discouraging, and Toxic) as well as diagnostic methods (including a free online assessment) that church leaders can use to identify the particular strengths and needs of their church.
One particularly useful section of the book deals with the seven keys of CULTURE:
- Control – it isn’t a dirty word; delegating responsibility and maintaining accountability are essential for any organization to be effective
- Understanding – every person on a team needs to have a clear grasp of the vision, his or her role, the gifts of the team members, and the way the team functions
- Leadership – healthy teams are pipelines of leadership development, consistently discovering, developing, and deploying leaders
- Trust – mutual trust up, down, and across the organizational structure is the glue that makes everything good possible
- Unafraid – healthy teams foster the perspective that failure isn’t a tragedy and conflict isn’t the end of the world
- Responsive – teams with healthy cultures are alert to open doors and ones that are closing; they have a sensitive spirit and a workable system to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks
- Execution – executing decisions is a function of clarity, roles and responsibilities, and a system of accountability
Understanding your church’s culture is not an easy task. Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code is a very helpful resource for the leader who wants to delve below the surface of church as usual and lead it to greater impact.