Out of Context: Staff Culture

The editors of Leadership are finishing the summer issue due out in July. Here's a preview excerpt from John Peacock found in a report by Collin Hansen, "The X Factor: Most of the highly celebrated, experimental worship services launched in the Nineties to reach 'Gen-X' are now gone. What have we learned from the rise, decline, and renewal of next generation ministries?"

"Your staff culture has to represent the culture you're trying to create in the wider church. That's one of the biggest misses in contemporary church work. You have a business-run, top-down, bottom-line culture yet you're trying to bring around a loving, transformative culture in your community. It just doesn't work."

-John Peacockleads the Axis ministry at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Read more in the Summer 2009 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

June 12, 2009

Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments


June 15, 2009  7:58pm

Another indicator of a flawed institutionalized system. It doesn't matter how nice or how expert or how spiritual the people are who try to do it. Crowd oriented gatherings of any cultural style will build the opposite of love and faith. They will build homogeneity, predictability, casualness, and walking by sight rather than faith. There are a small percentage of exceptions, but the large majority follow these qualities. Robert Better is a pastor who fully trains others to be like him(Luke 6:40); and entrusts to faithful men who will teach others also (2Tim. 2:2). It's reproductive leadership that God has designed, not perpetual dependency leadership. The only way to do this is to refuse the right to be paid like Paul modeled and taught. If more than 30 people are following a pastor, it' probably perpetual dependency.

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Robert Angison

June 15, 2009  10:42am

Completely agree! Too often we've marginalized our people and true life change by pushing a conversion that they're not ready for. We move out staff members who are honestly working to build health and bring in brash staff who know how to build numbers. Numbers aren't what is important to God. We've got to change the whole thing. What is successful ministry? A pastor who grows a church to 10,000 and burns out at 50 or a pastor who serves a church/community for 50 years, never gets it beyond 200 people, then retires after a life of deliberate service? Of course our Christian media perpetuates this crisis. The current culture of celebritification is killing God's plan for the Church. You are the Church! R.A.

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June 13, 2009  10:59am

Amen! I too, just wrote a blog post on unity and that as Christians we don't get transformed because we are way too busy and not getting back to the basics of The Bible and our first Love which should be God.

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Linda Stoll

June 12, 2009  3:40pm

"Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the HOLINESS and SINCERITY that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom, but according to God's GRACE" - 2 Corinthians 1:12. Holiness. Sincerity. Grace. These are the 3 keys to our interactions with others - most particularly in the family we call "the church." Paul tells us to lose the "worldly wisdom." Forget all this business model stuff that's infiltrated our midst. Ultimately, it's not working because it doesn't deal with the heart. It's taken us in an ineffective and unedifying direction. Sad, unfortunate stories abound. Hearts are broken. Trust is lost. People turn from the faith. Priceless relationships are shattered. The church's testimony is tragically marred and irrevocably altered as those outside the walls sit back, observe our behavior, and nail us as hypocrites. Why? Because we didn't love one another well. The solution? We need to get back to Scriptural basics. Holiness. Sincerity. Grace. Character shows through. These attributes can't just be drummed up. They don't evolve from a hot new program or a snazzy game plan. They are about relationship. First, with God. And then, with others.

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