If I asked you and other pastors to share your dream for your church, many of you would share some variation of this vision: I want my church to welcome people who are currently not aware of God’s love for them into a community where they feel connection and love from Christians. From that foundation, they can ultimately learn about God's love for them and find a relationship with God through Jesus.
This vision is for a church with Kingdom impact, where we are about seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10).
How do we achieve that vision of a growing church, evangelizing people so they understand the gift of a relationship with God? Church growth strategies might come to mind first, and there is an important place for such strategies in extending the reach of the church. But what if a catalyst for Kingdom impact is hiding right inside your church?
Your church staff are living out and reflecting their values to everyone they come in contact with based on how they think, live, and impact others. This happens in their daily work as part of their responsibilities, and as they are friends and neighbors to those outside your church. It happens with your finance person as they interact with suppliers. It happens with children's church staff, as they chat about their work with friends. Everyone on your staff team is an ambassador of your church's values and culture to those around them.
Does your church staff team reflect the values of your church? Are they excited about their work and engaged in making your church community a healthy, thriving workplace? Or are they disengaged with their work and leaking out discontent? Your workplace culture, positive or negative, impacts multiple aspects of your organization and mission. The impact of workplace culture is seen in outward-facing impressions about your organization. Within your organization, the health of your workplace culture impacts productivity and everyday interactions among your staff team.
There is a connection between workplace culture and Kingdom impact. Having a fully engaged, flourishing workplace culture provides opportunities for your church to impact the community around you.
At Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, the most engaged workers on a BCW Employee Engagement Survey were the maintenance and grounds department. The grounds staff are acutely aware that they represent Christ to every person who sets foot on their large campus. They produce the first impression of Calvary that could eventually lead that person to Christ, as they are welcomed into the church community. (From Road to Flourishing by Al Lopus)
When Jesus considered the growth of the Kingdom, he focused on people—the workers who would invite people into Kingdom relationships. Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,” (Matthew 9:37).
Do you experience the worker shortages that Jesus mentioned? It’s challenging to attract and develop good workers, which puts an even greater emphasis on the need to ensure the workers you do have are functioning at the highest capacity. Workers who are fully engaged are much more productive than those who are disengaged. In fact, Gallup data show that disengaged workers are costing you 34% of their salary in lost productivity. Moving employees from disengaged to engaged can help you accomplish your vision through a flourishing workplace culture.
Measure the Soil
Your workplace culture is the soil that determines the fruitfulness of Kingdom impact for your church. So, you must become like an agronomist (soil scientist) and test the health of workplace culture.
At first, you might think that measuring workplace culture is a human resources function. After all, managing staff wasn’t part of your theological training for becoming a pastor. If not the HR administrator, then at least the Executive Pastor or Business Administrator would have oversight in this area.
If workplace culture is closely tied with Kingdom impact, then a senior pastor who champions efforts to improve employee engagement and workplace culture is casting vision for the church.
The Best Christian Workplaces Employee Engagement Survey is a unique, full-service tool that will help you assess your workplace culture and implement change in your organization. While you may not be familiar with a data-driven approach to assessing the health of your staff, consider other areas where you rely on data. You consider financial and attendance data to assess congregational engagement. And as you refine your vision to reach new generations, you might access data from organizations such as the Barna Group to understand trends in spiritual engagement. So why not measure employee engagement data to inform decision-making about lifting up your staff and their engagement in the mission of the church?
Clarify Your Situation
Once you have measured the “soil” of your church staff, what do the results mean? How can you interpret and understand your unique situation?
The benefit of Best Christian Workplaces data is that it is based on 20 years of research and hundreds of thousands of data elements. You are not left on your own to interpret your data. Your leadership team will receive a professional debrief that includes critical drivers of employee engagement from a highly experienced BCW consultant. BCW’s eight scientifically-backed culture drivers are the bedrock of our employee engagement survey data.
The Flourish Model takes the guesswork out of building a healthy culture:
Fantastic teams create consensus, direction, and momentum to grow a flourishing culture.
Life-giving work means our skills and spiritual gifts are leveraged in a way that gives energy.
Outstanding talent represents the caliber of people you attract, retain, and promote.
Uplifting growth is about providing opportunities for your staff to learn, develop, and grow.
Rewarding compensation gives peace of mind that our personal and family needs are met.
Inspirational leaders live out their values in a way that inspires connection, trust, and growth.
Sustainable strategy is the ability to set goals and take the right action to meet objectives.
Healthy communication measures the ability to drive innovation, unity, and accountability.
Implementing the results of your survey into an action plan unique to your organization is based on leveraging the most important drivers of your employee engagement and focusing your efforts there.
Act On Essential Drivers of Workplace Culture
Measuring employee engagement and clarifying specific areas for growth are important steps in understanding workplace culture. However, creating an action plan based on the results of your assessment is where your church will experience the full Kingdom impact of improved workplace culture. Your BCW consultant will provide tools and resources that are specific to the areas highlighted for growth opportunities in your survey results.
Growing a healthy workplace culture is an ongoing, iterative process. Churches that experience improvement in employee engagement and benefit from the energy of a highly engaged staff team continue to measure, clarify, and act on data every year. Growth in healthy workplace culture is a dynamic process, similar to the way we experience spiritual growth. We continue to grow closer to God as we go deeper in our relationship with him and are open to continuous learning.
As we discussed at the start, this emphasis on health in your workplace culture isn’t just so you can celebrate your great staff team. A flourishing workplace culture is attractive and has Kingdom impact. This is true in the lives of your staff, but also in all the ways that they interact with people inside and outside of your church. People want to be part of an organization that is energetic and positive, and along the way, they can learn more about Jesus and how he provides the ultimate in an abundant, flourishing life.