Every church develops an atmosphere, an environment that is easily distinguished by those who attend and visit. Unfortunately, the regulars may have become unaware and even numb to the normal tone and rhythm of their congregation. It can be a very joyful and excited environment or it may be more somber and serious.
Is your church culture healthy and does it promote worship, spiritual growth and maturity? Culture can be determined by attitudes, atmosphere, hope, and faith. Pete Scazzero says that, “Defining it (culture) can be challenging because culture consists primarily of unspoken rules about ‘the way we do things around here.’ Culture is that imprecise something, the invisible presence or personality of a place that can be difficult to describe without actually experiencing it. It is often more readily felt than articulated.”
Your church culture can be changed through prayer, casting a vision, and making sure that the language spoken is full of hope, expectation, and encouragement (I Thessalonians 3:6-8).
Church culture can improve greatly when pastors and church members are devoted to the right things.
It requires being passionate about worshiping God in a way that settles for nothing less than God’s manifold presence. Worship is our ultimate priority and Scripture tells us, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Our number one goal is to honor and glorify God.
In his book Vertical Church James MacDonald says, “We have allowed church to become more about obedience to truth and less about delighting in His presence.”
We must develop a church culture that settles for nothing less than making sure that God is the main attraction. So what has your church devoted itself to?
The first century church in Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Culture is determined by what you devote yourself to and what you have decided to emphasize and focus on.
Is your church devoted to teaching the whole counsel of God?
Is your church equipping people to feed themselves and to develop a love for the Word of God?
Scripture is our sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice. Adrian Rogers said that if you are have truth decay then brush up on your Bible!
Augustine stated that, “Where Scripture speaks, God speaks!” We could add to that statement: “Where the Scriptures speak, we must speak!” What does this mean? It demands that you develop a culture where what the Bible says is what you say. It requires a conviction and commitment to handling Scripture carefully, correctly, and cautiously. The caution is not afraid of speaking truth but rather that we are true to what Scripture is actually saying.
You must desire to present biblically faithful, gospel-saturated, truth-filled preaching and teaching. The Word of God should be inspiring, illuminating and applied.
Quoting Adrian Rogers again, he stated, “The Bible addresses one problem: sin. The Bible has one villain: Satan. The Bible has one hero: Jesus. And the Bible has one purpose, to God!” The culture of your church is not to attend a service to hear a speech and gain a little more Bible knowledge.
In Jeremiah 37, Zedekiah, King of Judah, is uncertain about the future of his people so he sends for Jeremiah and asks, “Is there a word from the Lord?” Jeremiah’s response was, “There is!”
Are you focusing on building a culture that centers on glorifying God and feasting upon the truths of His Lord?
Church culture improves when there is a devotion to prayer.
Acts 1:14 says, “All these were continually united in prayer.” More can happen in five minutes of God’s manifest presence than in fifty years of our best human efforts. It is critical to do whatever you can do to stimulate more and more effectual fervent prayer in your people and in your church. Are you really praying like you should or do you believe you know what you are doing and can handle it yourself? It is pretty easy to tell if you are trusting in the Lord or your own pride, plans, and strategy. How much do you pray?
In Presence Centered Church Bill Elliff challenges us to imagine a church “. . . where God is clearly and consistently present and the evidence is unmistakable not only to you, but also to the world around you. Where every gathering—large or small—is evaluated with one question: Was God there?”
Where worship is so accessible, authentic, and powerful that people are thrilled and overwhelmed with Christ.
Where they are not focused on the style of worship but the beauty of Christ.
Where church members run – not to be entertained or seen – but to worship God in spirit and truth.
Where week after week the truths of God are clearly presented and quickened to people’s hearts, and they feel they have heard from God Himself.
Where the Word of God is honored through aggressive obedience.
That is a healthy church culture that has been developed by a devotion to the things that really matter to God.