We’ve all experienced the excitement, stresses and strains of packing up and moving to a new home, or office. Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, where Tim Keller has served as Senior Pastor for the past 28 years, recently had a “moving experience” that led them to revitalize their culture through three, pivotal action steps that might inspire you and your team when your physical plant—and your senior leadership—are on the move.
I spoke with Chris Dolan, Redeemer’s Director of Information Services, and Culture Team Co-Chair, who highlighted how the move became a timely opportunity to pinpoint their organization’s true, honest health—both the potholes and the proven strengths their people needed to follow God’s call of becoming “a family of churches and ministries for the good of the city.”
Chris noted, “The BCWI Staff Engagement Survey gave us the quantifiable data we needed. We were able to see our specific organizational issues and implement meaningful change for each new church body to extend and grow their distinctive ministries.”
BCWI’s pioneering research with more than 925 churches and ministry organizations reveals that some of the first, positive signs of a healthier, more effective culture are already within reach. So, you might want to consider what Redeemer did in their first year and:
1. Go after the low-hanging fruit
After completing their first BCWI survey, redeemer completed their first comprehensive staff development plan. “We now schedule a series of staff development training sessions each year. We began with two days of management training and conflict resolution which proved invaluable and we are taking our people’s skills to the next level,” says Chris.
2. Seek measurable excellence
Redeemer rolled out a new initiative in performance management. Inconsistent management practices went away, and a fresh approach for benchmarking, 1:1 meetings, encouraging, and honoring excellence took hold.
3. Onboard right from the start
New, incoming staff bought into Redeemer’s culture initiative and, thus, were healthy from the get-go. Says Chris, “This sent a message to all our people that we were paying attention to our culture and taking action.”
To impact our culture, every single person must believe that he or she wants Redeemer to be the best place it can be.”
The turning point for Redeemer came two years after completing their first BCWI survey. “At our downtown church, we brought in a big table we use for our most important meetings. This single, practical step has helped generate greater transparency and trust,” says Chris. “It’s one example of how people are continuing to see the correlation between these outcomes and the steps we took to improve the health of our culture.”
“The process of building a healthy culture hasn’t always been rosy. It can be frustrating and discouraging at times, yet when we lead from where we are, we realize our church vision: to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, the world.”
It’s Your Turn!
Think of a changing situation you’re currently involved in at work. Use the “low-hanging fruit” of quiet, prayerful personal reflection to better identify and clarify to yourself what’s going on inside you and why this particular transition is significant–both to you and your organizational culture.
Rediscover Your Clear Mission and Vision!
Josh and Lisa Surratt,
Seacoast Church, Charleston, SC
The Employee Engagement Survey
Click here to learn more!