A few years ago I head someone say that culture eats strategy for breakfast. The person sharing this was basically saying that we can dream and plan and strategize all we want, but ultimately culture will speak louder than strategy. That ultimately leaders (whether in business, non-profits, even churches) are called to shape culture first and then strategy needs to follow behind.
Sometime later I heard someone say that language creates culture. That the language we use (especially if it is repeated) will create culture, both positively and negatively. That the statement we say, the mantras we repeat, the things we celebrate, goes further in building culture than almost anything else.
Enter my friends J.R. Briggs and Bob Hyatt, who understand the fact that language creates culture and have written a book entitled "Ministry Mantras: Language for Cultivating Kingdom Culture." This book which contains short chapters based around various mantras that help build Kingdom Culture in faith communities, goes a long way in helping leaders begin to develop culture in their own communities. Don't let the length of the book or the length of each chapter fool you. This book is packed with wisdom, insight, and ways to develop Kingdom Culture.
These Ministry Mantas aren't just words on a page, but culture brought to life in two churches (one in the Philly area and one in Portland). These mantras can be used in your context, and are transferable. But I would imagine both J.R. and Bob would also say to do your homework and find other ministry mantras, or even better come up with your own, in order to do the hard work of developing Kingdom Culture.
Our Community has used a few of these ministry mantras over the last 7 years as ways of developing Kingdom Culture within Veritas. And I plan to use more of these in the future, as well as begin to develop and cultivate our own Ministry Mantras to further develop the culture that we are working to create within Veritas.
If you want a transferable, insightful, and helpful resource to develop culture within your faith community,. And not just any culture, but a culture that lives and breathes and shares the Kingdom of God, then get your hands on this book. You will be glad you did and it will help build the Kingdom Culture in your own faith community,