Building Culture From the Ground Up (My Experience on a Church Plant Team)

Staring at a blank page can be so intimidating. So many options, few boundaries, and it’s clean. You don’t want to mess it up. Those first words, first thoughts, have to be the right ones. Perfect right from the start. 

Now how often does that happen? Rarely. And if it does, I think I’d tell you that there’s still work you’re leaving unfinished and excellence probably isn’t being achieved. There’s always refining that can be done. 

About 6 months ago, my wife and I hopped on board with a church plant. We launched in September and it’s been such a fun ride already! Leading up to the launch, our church was that blank page. Every decision that was made, every process created, the language that would be used, was going to create the culture that this new church would have. Add in the fact that lives and salvations are at stake and could be directly impacted by those decisions; they start to carry a lot of weight.

Just the same as staring at that blank page, we thought things out thoroughly and began to outline what this culture would look like. How do we want people to feel when they step in those doors? What attitudes are our teams going to have? Once we had that outlined, it was time to add some body to that outline. 

Our pastor has been so great in these early stages. His focus early on was to make sure that leadership was healthy. We spent the six weeks before launch, just meeting with our teams and focusing on making sure those teams are healthy and aligned from the start. We launched in September and every message so far has been geared towards health and will continue to be so through the end of the year, while instilling our core values and making sure people are spiritually healthy, mentally healthy, financially healthy, etc. 

As things have gone, every little detail has been perfect, just as we had planned!

Ok not so much, just had to make sure I still had your attention. Each week we’re tweaking and making small changes to ensure that we have the culture we want to see. 

If we want a healthy church, it has to trickle down. Everybody sets the culture around them. Our job, as leaders, is to help pass that culture to those around us. It should look something like this:

Pastor ⇒ team leads ⇒ teams ⇒ guests ⇒ those who haven’t yet stepped through our doors. 

When our culture is consistent in all those phases, it truly can be a catalyst to impact lives and see communities change. So let’s make sure that we are intentional and help our pastors build a great culture in our churches. 


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