- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470627816
- ISBN-13: 978-0470627815
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 73 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cracking Your Church's Culture Code: Seven Keys to Unleashing Vision and Inspiration Hardcover – October 26, 2010
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From the Inside Flap
"Culturenot vision or strategyis the most powerful factor in any organization. It determines the receptivity of staff and volunteers to new ideas, unleashes or dampens creativity, builds or erodes enthusiasm, and creates a sense of pride or deep discouragement about working or being involved there. Ultimately, the culture of a church shapes individual morale, teamwork, effectiveness, and outcomes." From Chapter One
Often church leaders confuse culture with vision and strategy, but they are very different. Vision and strategy usually focus on products, services, and outcomes, but culture is about the peoplea church's most valuable asset. Cracking Your Church's Culture Code offers a practical resource for discovering the deficits in an existing church's culture and includes the steps needed to assess, correct, and change culture from lackluster to vibrant and inspirational so that it that truly meets the needs of the congregation.
Prominent church and leadership consul-tant Sam Chand describes the five easily identifiable categories of church culture (Inspiring-Accepting-Stagnant-Discouraging-Toxic) and includes diagnostic methods that church leaders can use to identify the particular strengths and needs of their church's culture. To help in this process there is also a separate online assessment tool (www.freeculturesurvey.com).
Once a church's culture is clearly identified, leaders can put in place a strategy for applying the seven keys of CULTURE (Control, Understanding, Leadership, Trust, Unafraid, Responsive, and Execution) that will make their church's culture one that stimulates people to be and do their very best and ultimately reach their highest goals.
From the Back Cover
Praise For cracking Your Church's Culture code
"Cracking Your Church's Culture Code provides a methodical introduction to understanding the idiosyncratic dynamics of your church and their impact on the overall vision of your ministry. This book is comprehensible and constructive as it reveals the seven important keys to creating a cohesive tone within your organization."
Bishop T. D. Jakes, The Potter's House of Dallas
"Dr. Chand said, 'Culturenot vision or strategyis the most powerful factor in any organization.' I couldn't agree more. Dr. Chand's latest book, Cracking Your Church's Culture Code, is a must-read for every church leader. If you want your ministry to move forward, buy this book for everyone on your leadership team!"
Craig Groeschel, senior pastor, LifeChurch.tv, and author, The Christian Atheist
"Sam Chand keeps firing golden bullets of practical assistance to church leaders. He's a blessingand here's another offering of workable wisdom that is sure to bless many."
Jack W. Hayford, chancellor, The King's University
"The number one reason a vision is aborted is because the visionary and the vision carrier aren't aware that a toxic culture existsand that it can bring death and destruction to a church. This is a must-read for the life of your congregation and will create a healthy environment that breathes success and significance. I commend Dr. Samuel Chand for his wealth of experience. He has identified the keys that will reveal where you are and how to fix it."
Bishop Eddie L. Long, senior pastor, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
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The book describes a range of different cultures. Inspiring cultures are ones with clear direction and an atmosphere of trust and respect. Accepting cultures have a positive atmosphere but some unresolved issues. Stagnant cultures have less trust, respect and loyalty, and more complaining and turf wars. Discouraging cultures have power struggles and attract malcontents. Toxic cultures use fear as their dominant motivational factor.
The author goes on to define seven keys of culture (Control, Understanding, Leadership, Trust, Unafraid, Responsive and Execution), then discusses how vocabulary defines culture, change starts with the change-initiator, chaos is a necessary part of the change process, and it is often necessary to change the vehicle (organizational structure) in order to reach the desired destination.
I was initially put off by the book's title, mistakenly assuming that the content was about prophecy, but when I started reading I was amazed by the way the author was describing in a coherent logical way something that most church leaders intuitively sense but do not have the vocabulary to express - church culture. This book is going to be a great help to many church leaders who are wondering how to deal with change, conflict and problem people. I highly recommend it.
After all the hoopla in recent years over "Vision-casting" and becoming a "missional" church as the answer to every church's problems, Christianity needed this book as a corrective!
As one author of a book on church Vision says: "It doesn't matter how clear or compelling your vision is, if your culture is unhealthy...then nothing is moving anywhere." (Corey Turner, Activate Church)
Chand also says - frequently - that changing your church's culture is the hardest thing you will ever do!
But can a pastor let a church continue in its unhealthy culture? Can a pastor really do anything about a church's culture? Chand provides good advice on ways to go about it - but there are no quick ways, and there are no painless ways.
This is a practical book that pulls no punches. It should help all pastors who are struggling but can't quite put their finger on why - and help them to decide what to do.
He has some great metaphors to help, but - oddly - he DOESN'T use the parable of the sower and soil?! To me, that parable contains the perfect explanation for various unhealthy church cultures (soil) and a healthy (fertile) one.
And using it in your efforts to move your church toward a more healthy culture is a no-brainer, and because it's biblical...how can anyone argue with it?
The following is not in the book, but is my own understanding of the usual components (bottom-up, foundation on bottom, then the other structural elements), showing the important position of Culture. (We start at the bottom, and build upon our values.)
ACTION PLANS are things we do today, this week, this month that we believe will achieve this year's Strategies
STRATEGIES are things we do this year that we believe will make progress toward our Vision
MISSION is what we do in every ministry, that we believe will - over time - make us "look like" our Vision
VISION is what we WANT TO LOOK LIKE "way out there in the future"
CULTURE is the environment that develops as our principles and passions are lived out
CORE VALUES are the FOUNDATIONAL principles and passions that motivate us
A good book for pastors and church leaders that references this one is "The Measure of our Success" by Shawn Lovejoy.
Control: Do leaders micromanage and retain all control or do they empower others?
Understanding: Do leaders assume systemic understanding of vision or do they expend considerable effort to explain it to all constituencies?
Leadership: Do leaders look to continually identify and develop or expend most of their energy working with existing leaders?
Trust: Do leaders work to facilitate mutual trust in HOT (honest, open and transparent) environments or is office gossip normative?
Unafraid: Do leaders encourage people to pursue their dreams and recognize that failure will occur at times or is risk minimized to avoid failure at all costs?
Responsive: Do leaders facilitate teams of people committed to working together for the good of the organization or is second guessing of decisions and work in silos commonplace?
Execution: Do leaders turn decisions into actions and ensure all team members play their roles well or is there more talk than action relative to moving forward after making decisions?