The word, "culture", has been defined as a "way of life" for a particular group of people.
Your church currently has a culture. You might not like it, but it's there.
It has developed over years (or months, if it's a new church) because of big or little decisions, programs, and people that have come and gone.
Setting your church's worship services up for maximum engagement across multiple generations is not easy, but there are 3 steps you can take to accomplish it week after week
My church has gone through a pastoral succession, major financial overhaul (coming out of bankruptcy), sudden change of venue (our main building sprinklers burst and flooded the building), and major rebranding and revitalization (we changed the name and website just before Easter), all within five years. And God is blessing, and we are seeing souls saved and lives changed.
Trust me when I say that, with some intentionality and specifically thought-out steps, you can turn around your church's culture for the better, and it will happen through your weekend services.
I believe it is possible by following 3 practical steps.
Step 3: Culture
I've said this previously, but you will have a culture regardless of how well you do the other two steps.
One definition of culture is "the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social ... group." (dictionary.com)
Your church has a culture already.
So this part is both a step and the result of the previous two steps.
The point of these posts was to help you see how, at our church, we have transformed and revitalized our culture through our Sunday worship services.
It has been a long, hard road, but God has blessed. I believe that He has blessed us because we have kept our motives pure and toward Him, we have not strayed away from Scripture, and we kept the main thing the main thing.
As you go through steps 1 and 2, think about what you'd like to see present in your church's future culture.
How do you want people to think? How do you want them to feel on Sunday morning? What energy do you want when people walk through the doors? What do you want your people telling their family and friends when they invite them to church?
What I'm trying to say is to be intentional. The level at which you work on the first two steps will determine how close you come to achieving the culture you desire.
One last note on revitalizing your culture: don't forget the past.
Be sure that as you make these changes and you begin to see the culture shift, don't forget about the people who have been with the church through it all.
Don't just drag them along and expect them to blindly follow and be okay with every little thing that you change. Some things will be easier to swallow than others.
Transparent motives and a good attitude through this process will help too. If people know why you are doing this, they will be more likely to jump on board.
However, don't just completely wipe away everything that made your church what it was before all these changes. Those things had value for their time, and maybe some of them still do.
Keep them in your new culture. Sing old hymns still. Incorporate them well into your newer songs. Be understanding that those who have been in the church for years and years have a feeling of ownership and pride in what has come before you. Be sensitive to that. Take it from me, this helps a ton.
Regardless of your church's beliefs and journey through this, your aim for your culture should be one of teaching, worshiping, learning, and community.
And don't forget - always make it all about Jesus. Make Him the center. Weave the gospel deeply into all that you do on Sundays.
And pray. Pray hard and long. Fast too. God has promised that He would build His church, but you get to take a hand in the direction that He is building it.
Take it seriously. I believe that those of us who are blessed to be worship leaders will someday stand before God to answer for the responsiblity we were given.
Make that your push and motivation.
Remember, to revitalize your worship culture, you need to establish your convictions, build your constructs, and see how God helps you breathe a new culture into the life of your church.