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Leader's Insight: Your Church's DNA

Each church has a unique make-up that's essential to its life, health, and future.

Aurora Advent Christian Church, located just outside of Chicago, was stuck. The church was dynamic in many ways. The leaders were talented and highly motivated, but as a unit, something was wrong.

The first things I noticed were the signs—in the office, in the gymnasium, on the doors to the bathroom. The place was plastered with "do not's."

  1. Do not bounce balls on the wall.
  2. Do not wear black-soled shoes.
  3. Do not leave the lights on.
  4. Do not sit here.

Each notice was signed: "The Trustees."

The meetings I attended were formal, focused on procedure and rules. Yet everyone seemed so friendly, warm, and passionate about ministry. When I took a direct, left-brain approach and told leaders they were overly focused on the business of the church, it did not go well.

On a return visit, I focused on trying to understand the church's code. I took a more intuitive, right-brain approach. In focus groups, I asked people to go back as far as they could in memory and recall first or powerful experiences with ...

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