I think a great deal about cultures: I much prefer one airline over the others in my country, because of what I perceive as very different corporate cultures. All faith communities also have a culture. When I walk into a church, I get an immediate sense about the culture present. In the church world I wander in, I’m often discouraged by the culture I encounter: Too often it seems focused on a particular family group, dominated by white folks past retirement age. A church I visited a while back was lamenting the fact that their church was declining because it was “out in the country” too far removed from an urban population. My thoughts went to a church a few kilometers up the road from them that was thriving and building an addition. It seemed to me that “out in the country” had become an excuse which made it nearly impossible for them to see their potential in that rural community. The church had an identity rooted in an old self-understanding which produced a very tired, uninviting culture to anyone who was new in the neighbourhood.
What are you doing as a leader to keep the culture of your community current and inviting?