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Culture – another million-dollar word in the repertoire of a leader. Some want to shape it. Some want to build it. And if we’re being honest, some just want to understand exactly what it is. Whatever your case may be, understand this: Culture is the core set of values and beliefs that an entire group of people shares under a unified vision.

If vision is the 30,000-foot overview of your ministry, culture is how that is played out in day-to-day life. John C. Maxwell says it this way, “Vision is ‘I have a dream,’ and culture is ‘This is how we march.’”

When culture is properly built, it will propel your ministry to new heights and will bring an increase that far exceeds your wildest dreams.

Here are two simple ways you can begin to build strong and lasting cultures in your Junior High ministry.

1. Align your desired cultures with your Senior Pastor’s vision.

I cannot stress this enough. The church you serve at is not yours, it is your Pastor’s. As Junior High Pastors we should all ask our Pastor this question, “What do you want your Junior High ministry to look like?” If we want to build anything else than what our Pastor wants, we are creating division.

Our job as Junior High Pastors is to create cultures that carry out the specific vision that our Pastor has set for the church so that our students can thrive within them. When you align your desired cultures with the vision of your Pastor, favor and blessing from the Lord will come.

Psalm 133 reads, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! … For there the Lord commanded the blessing.”

2. Define your desired cultures

Once you have your Pastor’s vision, begin to define the core values and beliefs you want to see in your ministry. To help you ideate, here are the desired cultures we have outlined for our Junior High ministry.

Revival: Awakening both the church and the lost to walk in the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Love: Every decision made is out of two loves: Loving God, and loving others.
Honor: First and foremost, honor God. Secondly, honor everyone – this includes parents, teachers, people you don’t associate with, etc.
Family: The body of Christ is a family, and we need to operate in that way – show love and honor to each other, but also allow room for the fathers and mothers to give direction.
Worship: Everything we do either glorifies God or focuses on us. We will always choose to glorify God.
Prayer: God’s people are called to pray ceaselessly. Prayer is the foundation of the revival cultures we seek.
Evangelism: The gospel is meant to be shared. We will be a family that shares God’s goodness everywhere we go, and with everyone we encounter.
Risk: To see more of God’s supernatural hand we need to take risks (go out of one’s comfort zone expecting to see a result.) We will always celebrate those taking a risk to see the Kingdom of God manifested.
Supernatural: We are naturally supernatural, and we will continuously call down the supernatural reality of Heaven into all circumstances.

Defining these cultures has given us a clarity of sight to know what we are going after as a youth ministry. We have seen many students not only fall into these cultures but adopt them as a lifestyle.

– Pastor Chase McCartney

Discussion Questions:

Do you know what your Pastor’s vision for your church is?
How do you want your Junior High students to live that vision out on a daily basis?

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