How to Create a Culture of Service
*While Operation Warm works with faith-based organizations across North America, we are a secular, charitable nonprofit and not affiliated with any particular religion or denomination.
Every organization has a culture. This culture sets the tone for members, defines the mission and determines how the world sees you. From the smallest faith-based organization to the largest corporation, culture can have a big effect on success. Creating a culture of service can help you better fulfill your mission. It can also do great things for your organization as a whole by creating an environment where people are loyal, motivated and ready to serve.
Why a Culture of Service is Important for Your Church, Temple or Mosque
A positive culture keeps people involved, helps them grow and develops great leaders who make a difference. Positive work cultures make people more productive.
Culture can make or break an organization’s mission, its vision and its strategy. That is why it is important to think about what kind of culture you need and then create it.
A religious organization’s culture can also greatly influence the number of volunteers it attracts? (link) and how they are engaged with everything the congregation wants to do. “Culture is the reason some churches seem to have more than enough volunteers and others can’t find any,” counsels Church Fuel in Changing the Culture in Your Church.
Here are some steps you can take to create a culture of service at your faith-based organization.
Leadership Drives Culture
Your service leaders should create a mission statement about what a culture of service means to your organization and what you would like to accomplish. Leaders should also identify any potential roadblocks to a culture of service, and ways your current culture should change. Take advantage of various resources that are available to help with this step. Craig Groeschel offers a free Podcast series on church leadership that you might find helpful.
Acknowledge and Support Volunteers and Mission Leaders
By acknowledging and affirming your current volunteers and mission leaders, it reinforces the understanding for the entire organization that service is important to your church, temple or mosque. Charity Village offers 20 ideas for rewarding volunteers you can use as inspiration to develop ideas for affirmation.
Some churches and other faith-based organizations ask congregants to participate in a test of their skills or spiritual gifts. These tests often reveal the types of service roles individuals might enjoy the most.
Think Like a Service Organization
Many faith-based organizations design programs aimed at getting people in the door and keeping them visiting and contributing. Many service organizations operate differently. They focus on community programs (link) from more of an outward focus, creating programs and ministries for those who need it most. This others-first mindset focuses on issues in the community and the ways that the congregation can solve them. By leading the way toward service, your congregation can do good, get noticed and create a culture that is both welcoming and exciting to be a part of.
The Links Between Culture, Millennials and Volunteering
For faith-based organizations that wish to attract the Millennial Generation, having a cultivated culture of service may be critical. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials comprise the biggest sector of the workforce, where they put great value on positive culture. On average, millennials would take an average pay cut of $7,600 for a better company culture.
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