Build A Culture Not A Program

I love sports.

I particularly love college sports. I remember my first college football game. It was the Auburn-Georgia game, 1957, I think. I remember Auburn won and won the National Championship.

I remember the players’ names–Nix, Lorino, Zeke. I even remember the elderly man I sat in front of. He had a cane and every time I stood up–which was almost every play–he pulled me down with his cane. We were both frustrated that day. I was too young to know what I was doing. All I know is that I didn’t want to miss a play or a game–ever.

I was hooked.

Some teams have successful seasons and some do better and build successful programs, but the very best establish a culture. They are the ones that win year in and year out.

I think of churches in the same way. Those that do best have established a culture–a culture that reaches out to new people and reaches in to make disciples. These are the churches that make a difference for decades. They are not always quick growing but their growth is substantial and life-changing.

What would a successful church culture look like?

First, it would major on Christ and His great work for a lost world. Everything would be about Him and His glory. The church would be in love with Jesus.

Second, it would major on people–and they would be people of all kinds, races, and classes. I remember when we started making inroads to our community at the church where I serve. We talked and prayed about making our church look like heaven. The Book of Revelation gives us the templet–people from every nation, language, people, and tribe were purchased by the blood of Christ (Revelation 5:9).

If a church cares for the “least of these,” it will also care for the most.

A great church culture for reaching people means that we love all those Jesus loves. This will be a welcoming church.

Third, a great church culture would find direction from God through His Word. It would look to Scripture to determine its belief and its behavior. It would be unwavering about the importance of Scripture.

Fourth, a successful church culture would be about transformation. Going to church is not about trying harder and doing better. It is about having a transforming journey with Jesus Christ. Most people try hard–and that becomes their downfall. Trying harder doesn’t work very well. Letting Christ change you day by day for all of life does work.

Finally, it means seeing the church for who we are. We–you and I–are the church. What the church becomes depends on me. Me alone.

What are you doing to help your church establish a transformational culture?

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. — 1 John 4:11-12 (NIV)