4 Simple Steps To Transform Your Church Staff Culture


At Vanderbloemen, we speak a lot about culture. We’ve come to realize that as more and more millennials comprise today’s work force, a good office culture is arguably one of the most important components in recruiting great staff. On the flip side, a bad staff culture is one of the biggest common denominators in why people are unhappy in their jobs.

It's easy for church staff members to feel discouraged if they’re working somewhere with a poor office culture. They feel that in order to truly transform the staff culture, the change must come from the top of the organization. While there is a lot of truth to that, here are four things that any employee can do to inspire change and improve their church staff culture.

1. Cultivate a positive atmosphere.

The staff culture may stink, but if all you do is lament over the problems you have with your workplace, boss, coworkers, etc., nothing is ever going to get better. Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have shown that discussing problems actually has little to no positive impact on the way you view said situations. Instead, speak positively. Whenever you are frustrated, do your best to see things through the eyes of the opposite party. Even when you are frustrated, speak about your frustrations positively and in a kind way (if it’s absolutely necessary to discuss it at all).

Change your mindset to one that believes venting is not appropriate for the workplace. Practice making small, thoughtful gestures a part of your interaction with your team; bring cookies on a Friday or make a card for a coworker who has a birthday. Slowly, others will begin to notice these changes and eventually impact and change within your organization will happen.

Small gestures can have widespread effects.Tweet: Small gestures can have widespread effects. https://bit.ly/1SXowdj via @VanderbloemenSG

2. Pray.

Cliché, I know. But our God cares about all manner of things, especially the health of you and the environment in which he’s placed you. Remember, nothing surprises Him. When you see an injustice, tell the Lord about it. When you want to vent about an incapable coworker, tell the One who sees and understands our hearts, rather than the coworker in the cubicle next to you.

Pray for that promotion, or the promotion of a coworker. Pray for your leaders. Pray for an understanding heart towards them and the people around you. God works in mysterious ways, and you have the privilege of being a part of His work through prayer. 

3. Walk humbly.

The natural human reaction to adversity is often to puff up. The feeling of wanting to be justified in your actions/reactions is more than normal, but it is much less often helpful. Work on changing your default reaction to one of humility. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble,” is more than just a lesson on the way God views our behavior, but a glimpse into the way other people do.

When you respond to people with humility, it can change the atmosphere.Tweet: When you respond to people with humility, it can change the atmosphere. https://bit.ly/1SXowdj via @VanderbloemenSG

Over time, people who were once hard will soften to you, your ideas, and your opinions. It seems counterintuitive to become quieter or less boisterous, but there is a spiritual principle at work here that makes an impact greater than we’ll ever realize.

Don’t be afraid to walk in humility, and I’d even take this a step further and don’t be afraid to serve people. When you learn to model humble behavior it makes a huge difference in all those with whom you interact.

4. Treat others as you want to be treated.

The single most effective way to change the atmosphere of your work place is to treat others the way you would want them to treat you (my kindergarten teacher would be so proud of my representation of the golden rule). Practice intentionally caring for the people with whom you have conflict, whether that is practically, emotionally, or even just in the way you think about them. Care about the people around you and their lives. Learn to respond to people with grace. Be to them who you wish they were to you, and one day they very well could be all you’ve hoped for.

Changing the culture of your church staff is no small task. But we hope you are encouraged, because it is possible.

Are there any specific things you do within your organization that specifically help shape the culture?

Guide to creating and implementing your church staff's core values