Church Vision vs Church Culture

Hab. 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Vision is a supernatural picture that conveys revelation insight from God! A Vision is defined as 'An Image of the future we seek to create'. Understanding that vision is progressively revealed by God!

What does vision do for people? It gives them a picture of not only what the organization is called to do but gives people a clear picture of their part and purpose within the vision!

What is Culture? Culture is the way of life of a particular society or group of people, including 
patterns of thought, beliefs, behavior, customs, traditions, rituals, dress, and language, programs, music, and literature. (Webster’s New World Encyclopedia, 1992)

Church Culture is simply the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, faith, beliefs, social habits, style of music and programs we provide. (Message) Hab. 2: 2 And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.

Leaders Wisdom Nugget! Whoever is running with the vision…. if he is running in a polluted environment filled with smoke, gas fumes and hostility it will be a challenge with him finishing the race.

What does atmosphere (culture) create? Why do sun kiss oranges grow in Florida only?

In Asia rice has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. In order for rice to grow it needs to have plenty of water. In order for our Visions to grow it needs the right culture!

There is rice called Upland rice which is drought tolerant and is able to grow where the rains do not come that often. It is a seed that has been Genetically Modified which has been produce to handle adverse environments.

You can have a seed vision that grows oranges but if your soil and atmosphere (culture) is corrupt then your end product is Crop Failure! Or maybe the atmosphere that has been created (cultivated) is killing your God given vision so your vision doesn’t produce the desired end result! There are attitudes and beliefs that have cultivated which chokes the vision from producing! Maybe the church needs to have a spiritual LIPO Suction? Letting Ineffectual People Out!

Question? Does you and your leadership see how the community is evolving around you and or how the demographics are changing or what the real needs of people are in this day and time?

Wisdom Nugget! Wild fish don’t hang in ponds! Tuna can’t swim in rivers. Trout is a fresh water fish that only swims in Lakes. What’s The Water Like our Your Church?

In order to be greater fisherman we have to make sure our bait (church atmosphere) the waters are perfect!

Culture is the most important part of a vision and stronger than a mission statement! Your core values and integrity can be strong but if the culture is not right we have a problem!

Mt. 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

People today, have fallen in love with the delivery system, rather than the product. Product is loving Jesus, being excited about the Word, Worship and discipleship to reach the lost in order for us to grow our members and families spiritually stronger.

We all have the same bible, scriptures and order of service. We have the same products; Salvation is the same, grace is the same, praise is praise etc. We’ve been taught lately that the type of worship music or style of message is what cultivates and creates success today!

We are defined today, by how we do things verses what, why and how we need to do things biblically!

  • The pastor gives vision and he along with the leadership creates culture!

If you don’t have the right leadership then you don’t have the culture needed for a vision to survive so it will be handicapped! If you have people who are stuck in the past (old systems/religious practices) it affects the vision and culture! If you have hurt or angry people or those who don’t give tithes and offerings in your church then it will affect the atmosphere of your church and thrust of the vision!

Heb. 13:1 Let brotherly love continue. “Keep on loving each other! Why? Love creates culture! The same is for hate, Intimidation, insecurity and selfishness it also creates culture!

Eph. 5:13 But fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named amongst you, as becomes Saints: Why? It affects your culture and witness! (From the pastor to the members) A lack of integrity and holiness affects your culture the members!

Paul stated, in Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Why? People affect your culture! If we don’t check people out more thoroughly to see if they fit our organization we will always be frustrated, irritated and angry! God picks leaders, Real leaders never pick, choose or call themselves!


  1. Does your leadership reflect your heart and love for God and His people?

  2. Do you trust the people around you and can the people trust God with us?

  3. Are you happy with where you are, in your marriage with your leadership and the members? (Mosses…) All these questions once answered have a role in developing the culture/atmosphere of your church! (Once when I was hurt…)

A toxic culture will eat your vision alive! It will not allow a vision to survive. A toxic culture is like carbon-monoxide you can’t see it , you don’t smell it but you’ll wake up dead!

Seven important factors that shape organizational culture.

We will examine particular a attitudes and behaviors that point a culture towards inspiration or toxicity. (In Dr. Samuel Chad – Cracking Church Culture)

  1. Control – Who really controls your church? Who makes the decisions? You don’t have to have a position to control areas of the ministry! People can be territorial… People function most effectively if they are given a certain level of control (authority) with responsibility. Note: Angry, hurt, sour, or demanding person can dominate a team and contaminate them. A leader must give clear direction, assign task delegates authority, provides resources, and then has a reasonable reporting procedures so people can provide updates, coordinate with others and stay on track until the assignment is fulfilled. PS. Does everyone have ownership in the vision? Can your church run without you?)

  2. Understanding – How much do people really understand what’s going on? Do they understand what God has called us to do? That’s why people leave and church hop! They are looking for something!

  3. Leadership – SOME feel we have to raise more leaders in order to do more work that God has entrusted us to do! How leaders are developed and how are they deployed! How do they receive you as the leader? How do the people receive new people to the church? We pray for God to send people but do the people run them off!

  4. Trust – is the glue that holds everything together, it’s the adhesive that keeps an organization flowing and growing! If there is no trust People will not speak up if they feel they won’t be received or punished if they share how they feel! If there is no trust, people will not give you their best! If there is no trust people get secretive and bleed behind the scenes.

  5. Unafraid – Not a culture of fear, but a culture that’s unafraid. Where people can have HOT conversation. Honest/Open/Transparent Conversation. There are churches were people walk in fear! Where failure becomes fatal… then people stop playing to win and start playing not to lose (survival) and become critical of others and the pastor.

  6. Responsive – Is the leadership responsive to what the people’s needs are. Is it responsive to decision making and the management of the organization? Do you return calls or emails? Do people show up? Do people on the staff respond to each other, are they kind to one another?

  7. Execution – how do we execute that which we want to do! It’s the key between planning and results. Are things getting done… do you spend time talking or executing task!

These things assist in an organization growing and producing the fruit that Jesus requires of us all!

Allot of our church cultures are schizophrenic which is a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty behavior! A vegetable plant has the same basic needs as we do: light, food, water, and warmth. The amount of each of these given to a plant will determine the success of your harvest. Your vision is predicated on the church culture (atmosphere) which consist of the peoples shared patterns of belief, faith, Love, personal feeling and adaptation to God’s Word, which people carry in their minds and spirit!

Corporate Culture is a shared pattern of group beliefs, feeling and adaptation, which people carry in 
their minds. (Leighton & Hughes, 1961)

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