As Seth Godin has said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” No matter how great the vision or the systems an organization adopts, if the corporate culture isn’t capable of implementing the vision or assimilating the system – the vision and systems will fail. For that reason, every leader has to give careful consideration, not only to where they are headed, but attitudes and characteristics they display and encourage in those they lead.
At James River Church, these 10 leadership commitments keep our team focused on creating a positive culture:
Every leader has to give careful consideration, not only to where they are headed, but attitudes and characteristics they display and encourage in those they lead.
- Maintain a breathless awe of what God is doing.
We have been blessed by God to be a part of something that is inherently supernatural. As leaders, we never want to lose that sense of awe over all that God has done in the lives of the people who attend the church, and the way He has multiplied our efforts in the ministry at James River Church.
- Have a gratitude for the people around us.
God has blessed us with an amazing team of incredibly talented people. Every day, we have the opportunity to work with staff and volunteers who have given themselves to going the extra mile in their service to Christ.
- Serve the Lord with gladness.
Our joy is based in part on understanding the tremendous privilege that is ours to serve the Lord. And where there is joy in ministry – there is strength of ministry. No amount of determination or obligation can replace a heart that is serving the church with the joy of the Lord. To that end, we want to cultivate an environment where leaders say, “I get to…” instead of asking, “Do I have to?”
- Be a “can do” person.
On any given day at James River, not only Sundays, our leadership mentality says, “God is in this place, and when God is here, ANYTHING can happen.” Understanding that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13) makes it possible for us to have a “can do” spirit that is not afraid of challenges or obstacles.
- Value People.
People matter. If loving people and serving them isn’t a priority, discipleship is diminished and the Church is less than God intended. As leaders, we want to be sensitive to the people around us and be willing to serve them.
- Settle in your heart that your work here is not just your job, it is your calling.
We aren’t interested in hiring people who are looking for a job. We want to hire people who feel called by God to be a part of what He is doing at James River Church.
- Take initiative.
If it needs to be done, do it. Leaders see the need and either meet the need or make sure that the need is met. The phrase “that’s not my job” isn’t said much around here. It’s everyone’s job to make sure the facilities are in top shape, and the ministry is accomplishing its purpose of reflecting God’s love and care for people.
- Use the inclusive “We” rather than the divisive “They.”
Simply saying “We have decided…” instead of “They decided to…,” brings people together instead of creating walls that divide. As a team, we have one vision, one heart, and we recognize that we are all in this together.
- Don’t complain or gossip.
It’s uncomfortable to gossip at James River Church. As a team, we want to meet gossip and/or a critical spirit with words that build others up, and to celebrate the good things God is doing through the ministries and people of this church. We have chosen to speak words that give life.
- Have an attractive spirituality.
As a church, we have chosen to be known more for what we are for, than what we are against; to be known more for our love of people, than our love of rules; to stand up for truth when absolutely necessary, but also be the first to extend grace in the face of error.