How do you begin to gauge your church’s unique climate?
Randy Frazee: If I had one day with a congregation to gauge its climate, I would do five things.
- Meet with the leaders to hear what they’re talking about-is it controlling dissension or reaching out, internal or external issues? Is the prominent focus on evangelism or discipleship? Are their dreams for the future bigger than the memories of the past? What consumes the leaders’ thoughts will reveal a lot about the environment.
- Tour the facilities. How the church cares for its property says a lot about the health of its self-esteem.
- Talk to the volunteers to find out why they have volunteered and whether they link their work to the church’s larger mission. “I duplicate cassettes because the pastor asked me? Or “because we’re trying to help people grow in the faith.”
- Have visitors fill out first-impression cards. What did they notice first about the church? What did they like most? What did they like least?
- Ask leaders what they are trusting God for in the next three to five years. That’s when a plan moves beyond being a general “We want to glorify God” to a specific concept for influencing a city. - Climate Control
Leadership, Winter, 1999, page 24