Thanks for joining us on Season 6 of The Flourishing Culture Podcast, brought to you by The Best Christian Workplaces Institute. You’ll learn how to build a flourishing workplace culture that drives the ministry impact of your organization, your church, or your company brought to you by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. Now here’s your host, BCWI CEO, Al Lopus.
Have you ever wondered how important improving your workplace culture is? Well, today our guest says of all the changes that you can make in your organization there’s one that matters more than all the others—the culture of your organization. Listen in as this pastor describes how working on cultural health is actually at the core of Christian discipleship for any leader.
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One of the things I enjoy most about my job is getting to know innovative leaders that are making a difference for the kingdom. One of those leaders is Jeff Lockyer, the Lead Pastor at Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, Ontario in the Niagara Region.
Jeff has just published a very thoughtful book called Finding Our Way: Reclaiming the First-Century Church in the Twenty-First Century. It’s a fascinating story of how a church transformed for the next generation. I particularly like the way Jeff walks his readers through the underlying theology behind some of their decisions, including their focus on workplace culture. Whether you are a church leader, a leader of a Christian non-profit, or a Christian business leader, you’ll find our discussion inspirational.
Jeff, Welcome back to the Flourishing Culture Podcast.
For senior leaders to focus on and make changes to their workplace culture is nothing more than for them to allow themselves and the people that they work with to be sanctified.”
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- The beginning of Jeff’s story at Southridge. A unique and fascinating story about he ended up as a lead pastor. (02:46)
- Led it for almost 25 years (04:08)
- Over time the church became focused on discovering God’s way: from consumption to devotion. What did that look like? (04:21)
- “‘Holy Discontent’—church didn’t make sense of Jesus” (04:47)
- “We’ve only, always been looking to Jesus through the scriptures to resemble Him more closely.” (06:06)
- How the church became focused on the innovative idea of anchor causes (06:46)
- “If your church disappeared, would anyone in the surrounding society even notice?” (08:15)
- “The goal of relocation was to put us in proximity to people, particularly people in need so that we could start to make a more noticeable difference. We can start to actually be Jesus incarnate to our community.” (09:26)
- After the first anchor cause was working, there was the idea of going multi-site
- “Of all the changes you can make in your church on the journey of Finding Our Way, there’s one that matters more than all the others: the culture of your organization.” (12:47)
- “For senior leaders to focus on and make changes to their workplace culture is nothing more than for them to allow themselves and the people that they work with to be sanctified.” (14:35)
- “Paying attention to culture is allowing the kingdom to transform and expand in you.” (15:00)
- “The greatest way that you usher in the realities of the kingdom into your life as a leader, and the greatest way that you follow Jesus for the forty hours of the week at work, is probably mostly by paying attention to your culture.”(16:26)
- Sometimes we run into churches that have cultures that are totally “grace-based” and tend not to be very productive. But at Southridge, you have looked at theology. (18:20)
- “Navigating the reality of a workplace and the reality of a Christian environment. Is a tremendously challenging and precarious tension to manage.” (18:37)
- Covenantal and contractual (21:01)
- When it comes to the staff working together, ‘fit’ is important (26:15)
- “Five cultural workplace distinctives.” (29:12)
- For nearly a decade Southridge has been on the “Road to Flourishing.” Each year you come back and rediscover the strengths and opportunities for improvement in your culture. Again, congratulations on the tremendous improvements in the health of your culture. Tell us about the process and what you do with the information? (32:15)
- “Bottleneck approach” (33:29)
- “It’s amazing how much you’re instrument has served to help define our reality in certain ways, so that at the end of the day our goal was to get every one of our department’s over that statistical threshold of flourishing.” (35:55)
Buy a copy of Jeff’s book: Finding Our Way: Reclaiming the First-Century Church in the Twenty-First Century.
Download BCWI’s four-page guide for inspirational leadership in crisis for FREE.
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