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Building Vision and Culture


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August 19, 2020

Building Vision and Culture

By New Churches Team

“Vision and culture are the things that build capacity and cause us to achieve the things that God has put in our hearts to do,” explains Chris Railey, lead pastor of Oaks Church in Dallas and former national director of the Church Multiplication Network.

There are two kinds of vision. There is vision that we sit back and applaud. Then there is the vision in which we choose to participate. This vision is more heartfelt and better communicated because we can find our place in it. Our goal as leaders should be to cast vision that people can find their place in. In Church Unique by Will Mancini, he explains that when it comes to vision, you have to discover, design, and deliver. We can be really good at discovering and designing, but not so great at delivering. And it’s in the delivery that we help people find their place and their role.

Engaging in Limiting Circumstances

Railey shares that he has relied on gatherings and events of all kinds in his leadership life as a place to build culture. Now, coming back into pastoral ministry and during this COVID season, he never imagined what this transition would have looked like. Church attendance was already a struggle. They were trying to figure out how to engage people who only attended once a month. They went from being a church of 4,000 in regular attendance to under 1,000 after reopening for a few weeks. But Railey encourages that we now have a unique opportunity for trial and error and experimentation in our churches. You aren’t going to hurt your attendance if you try new things. This is a chance to try things that you might not have tried before.

For example, Railey is making a change to his church’s preaching style. He has long felt that people want expository preaching to anchor hearts in the word of God, but that hasn’t been the style of preaching at this church. Railey decided to go ahead and make the change. They are launching a 30-week series preaching through the Book of John.

Railey is also providing a daily devotional which walks through books of the Bible and people are engaging online. He explains that first he had to begin by teaching and developing church staff around this idea. He also set up a teaching team to develop young communicators. The idea is that as he shapes culture on the staff that will shape culture in the church and anchor them in God’s Word. Railey admits it may not work, and they may have to rethink it. But this is an opportunity to do new things at a low risk time and see what God does.

Developing Leaders

Don’t just execute Sundays. Develop people. This comes down to two things: time and place.

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Source: Building Vision and Culture