First Baptist Church of Howard City
004 Culture Not Program
  • “I believe a return to discipleship will bring about the reformation of the 21st century.” - Robert Gallatay
    We can’t just add discipleship to our already busy program schedule.
    We need to change our church culture.

    What is a program?

    1. Programs have a clean start and end.

    Discipleship is life on life for life.

    2. Programs train people to serve for a limited time, typically the length of the program.

    Trains people to serve for a lifetime.

    3. Programs consist of a few individuals giving the Word to many people.

    Discipleship sees many individuals training many individuals who train other individuals.

    4. Programs provide measurable accomplishments.

    Success can take years.

    What is culture?

    (Merriam-Webster) the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group
    also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time
    Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation.
    Monkey story.

    We might say that culture is the stuff we do without thinking or the stuff we think about all time.

    I found the following ideas on visionroom.com and shaping the culture of your church.

    1. Values - the things we find most important.

    Matthew 6:21 NKJV
    21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    Values are the starting point: they come from the heart.

    2. Vision - the way we view life.

    3. Language - the things you talk about and the terms you use to talk about them.

    SO...

    Values + Vision + Language (over time) = Culture.

    Think about things you do in your family that you don’t think about.
    What are things that are so important that you do anything to make them happen.
    Now imagine a church that doesn’t even have to think about evangelizing people to make disciples.
    Or that it is a non-negotiable that you will teach them.
    Image when when it is normal to teach or lead someone.

    We need a new operating system.

    Simply put, the operating system is the software that controls the basic tasks and functions of your computer.

    The culture of our church is the operating system that runs it.

    If discipleship is added as a program, we may see momentary change but it won’t last.
    We are changing what we do, but we are not changing why we do it.
    Motivation leads to doing.
    When we don’t understand why we revert back to what is more comfortable or easier.
    Changing out accidently charged hose line.
    What about staff changes?
    My goal is that the church never says: “I don’t know who we are.”
    What about new people coming to church?

    What is our (First Baptist HC) plan to live the Great Commission?

    Intentionally loving people to stir them to know God and grow in a relationship with Him so they can go duplicate themselves in others.

    Know. Grow. Go.

    Ezra 7:10 ESV
    10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

    Culture means it is church-wide.

    The goal is that everyone is involved.

    The goal is that it is taught and modeled for all age groups.

    This does not happen at one specific time, but spans all ministries of church.

      • Matthew 6:21ESV

      • Ezra 7:10ESV

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