Churches are like snowflakes, no two churches are the same. Each one has a unique imprint and personality designed by God. If each church did the same things well and the same things poorly, then we would not be able to reach everyone for the gospel. But how do you find what your church’s personality is? As far as we know there is no test designed to help you find out, so let’s dive in.
Finding your church’s personality can be like finding your own personality and if you’re human, you know that personality developed over time. It was developed through environments, experiences and relationships. Let’s explore how these three components can help you build and develop your church’s personality.
- Your Location (Environment) speaks the loudest.
Churches exist for their communities, the problem is not all churches reflect their communities. They are buildings that profess all over their walls that they exist for their cities yet their responsibilities in their communities are non-existent.
Churches who struggle with finding their personality are often caught in a toss-up with not willing to let go of the comfort they feel within the walls in order to embrace the discomfort outside of their walls. So many churches are relying on the limited power within their congregations and underestimating the collective power within their communities.
Each community has a culture good or bad. Churches who fail to understand the people in their community, the needs they have and address them, those churches will continue to have an identity crisis and remain idle when their cities need them the most.
- Who is the experience for?
Did you ever have that one friend that was somewhat narcissistic? Anytime you talked it was always about them and their problems or successes. New people will walk in and feel that it’s for someone else, but not them.
It may not be the bad music, the long droning sermon or even the host with bad breath, in fact, I would argue most people would overlook those things and remain if when they walked in, they felt a sense of belonging and not the uninvited addition to the “inner circle”.
Is your church’s personality catered to those that sustain your church, or driven towards those that will engage in church? Church is a movement. Which demands people to move. Engagement is not the ability to stay awake. Like a relationship, to engage is taking initial steps to commit to something greater. Cater your experience that opens the doors to the lost, broken, downhearted and hurt. It is hard to feed someone who’s full of themselves.
- Where’s the relationship?
People were instinctively designed for community. This has been proven over the year of 2020 more than ever. We need each other. Period. Does the personality of your church speak religion more than relationship? Do volunteers get scolded when they don’t show up for their shift or do they get a personal care call to check-in and make sure they’re alright? Is the pulpit the only place people receive ministry or are people empowered to minister to and with one another?
The relational health of your church will always show its colours in times of crisis. The church, believe it or not, already has a bad rep for demanding time and money. However, if your church fosters a healthy relationship culture, people give their time willingly because they find purpose in helping others and they give finances freely because they care for people, needs and causes outside of their sphere.
As a church, the greatest investment you can make is a clear blueprint and path to building, fostering and growing in relationships.
Church is full of people. People go through stages in life and your church will go through stages. Comprise a short consolidated list of values to be the foundation of your church. Build your personality from that then develop programs as seasons call for it. What is at the heart of your church? If you can identify that, you’re well on your way to letting your community know who you are and why you’re there.