Thanks so much for joining us for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Ben Gowell, an Executive Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley. Christ’s Church is a fast growing church in the Phoenix Valley area with 8 campuses that serve about 35,000 people each Sunday.
Ben is with us today about how to develop a healthy culture at your church.
- What makes a healthy culture? // What are the things that stick out to make a healthy culture? You have to develop what you want the culture to be in your church, but it’s not enough to just cast that vision one time and hope it sticks. Vision leaks so it requires reinforcement from an unified staff that is aligned to catch that vision. You must rearticulate that vision time and again so that it doesn’t leak and disappear from view.
- Lean in to practicing awkward conversations. // We need to lean in to practicing awkward conversations. Practicing face-to-face conversations and confrontations when necessary (as opposed to avoidance) help reinforce these healthy aspects of the culture we are developing. Over time the culture becomes infused with healthy communication practices and helps prevent things like gossip or suspicion building up behind the scenes. Without healthy and open communication, these sins build up like a cancer and before you know it, trust has been eroded within your staff.
- Work on your tone and your response. // Don’t be over reactive. Go to each other with the intent of helping to make the team better rather than focusing on your own anger or hurt. Let an offense sit for a bit before going to someone in anger or writing that email. Go with a clear head. Face-to-face is much more productive than email or text because it’s easier to read someone’s tone. Have enough respect for someone to sit and talk with them.
- Spend more time in interviews. // At Christ’s Church of the Valley, they’ve formalized their hiring process to a day long event once a month. During this time, the HR team and entire leadership team to sit with prospective hires and go through a table by table interview process with them, This allows for more discernment as the team gets to know potential hires. Ben sits down with each person for 15-30 minutes to talk with them and get a gauge on where their heart is. As Christ’s Church spends more time on pre-interviews, they are seeing more hires sticking because the leadership knows prospective team members better before hiring them. Ministry should be a place where you put your whole heart into serving and not just get a paycheck.
- Know exactly who your target audience is. // At Christ’s Church of the Valley, they are very intentional about targeting the man so that they can reach the whole family. Hearing this statement may make it sound like they only care about the men, but that’s not the case. The gospel is for everyone, however, statistically speaking women are much more active in churches on their own. By contrast, more often men are lagging behind in spiritual leadership in their homes. Christ’s Church has clearly seen that when they engage the man of the family, it makes a big difference as to whether the children will attend church. Get the men engaged, equip them to lead in their homes spiritually, and it will have a huge impact on the rest of the family.
You can learn more about Christ’s Church of the Valley at their website www.ccv.church.
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Helpful Tech Tools // Planning Center Online
Ministries Following // Church on the Move, Elevation Church
Influential Book // Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine McKelvey
What you do for fun // Basketball, Soccer with Kids, Riding his Motorcycle
Contact // website ccv.church or ccvonline on social media