Building An Apostolic Culture
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And that is why God stopped them. But the principle is still true. A people that united can accomplish nearly anything! We have a God-given mandate to plant church planting churches all over the world. However, as people come from many different backgrounds to join this vision, there is a great lack of cohesion among the various individuals and ministries. So many people from so many different backgrounds with so many different ways of doing things can cause a great deal of confusion. What we need is to carefully define, build, and apply a common language and a common way of doing things that everyone agrees upon. A common culture.
Culture is expressed in at least two distinct ways: explicitly and implicitly. Explicitly means certain things that have been written down and are then taught, memorized, and internalized. These would include things like our mission statement; the 10 Tenets of Victory Churches International; and our vision statement: Reach, Teach, and Mobilize. If they are written down, then they are “explicit”. However, teaching and even memorizing them does not guarantee that they become part of our culture. They will only become part of our culture as we internalize and implement them into our daily lives.
Culture is a lifestyle, not just a set of beliefs. Culture is something that eventually becomes so much a part of us that it is virtually automatic. First our behavior creates our culture – then our culture dictates our behavior. And this is the great advantage of culture over vision. Once a culture is well established in an organization it becomes such a lifestyle, so natural, so much a part of who we are - that we follow it without even thinking.
Culture is infectious. Hang around people of faith and eventually you will become a person of faith. Hang around people who are big thinkers and eventually you become a big thinker. Hang around whiners and complainers and eventually you become a whiner and a complainer. Hang around negative people and eventually you become a negative person yourself. Culture is contagious! This is why it’s so important.
People may never quite fully grasp our vision but our culture is contagious! It just transfers by osmosis. I don’t know about you, but I believe in this vision - the Victory Vision! I honestly believe that it is a God-given vision. But if we want to see this vision come to pass we’re going to have to get back to the culture that it was birthed in! And that was a culture of revival!
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They need several stories of foundation under the ground to hold up what’s above it. Our churches and ministries are the same way. Our values are what form our foundation. Strong foundations insure long term stability. Trials and tribulations are like the natural dynamics that effect buildings. When Jesus spoke about the foolish man that built his house on the sand and the wise man that built it on the rock; the word that He used indicated a mass of rock. (Matt. 7:24) You cannot build a proper structure without a proper foundation.
2) Systems That Allow Expansion
I like to say that, “Systems don’t build your church, but you can’t build your church without them”. Systems help us be productive. But your systems also need to be focused toward expansion. You can only ever build to the size that your systems are capable of managing. An apostolic system is designed to expand so that you must always push forward to use it to it’s fullest potential. Your systems must be both functional and flexible enough to grow. Inadequate systems will actually prevent expansion and produce nothing but frustration.