This series of blogs is focused on clarifying the vision culture at Freshwater. Over the next few weeks my goal is to bring absolute clarity to: who Freshwater is, why we exist, where we are going, and how we are going to get there.
Freshwater’s vision culture stems from seven different sources that are aligned to support the goal of making disciples. This culture can be taught and caught by everyone at Freshwater from the first time guest to the seasoned staff member. The seven sources are our:
2. Who are we? (Second level) This question examines our core values.
3. Why does Freshwater exist? This is a question of purpose.
4. What will we do? This is a question of mission.
5. What does it look like? This is a question of vision
6. How will we do it? Strategies are the practical plans for making it happen.
7. Where/when are we going? This is a question of goals.
Think of it as a seven-layer pyramid with goals on top and core-beliefs at the bottom anchoring everything we do. In the next series of blogs I will be unpacking our vision culture one layer at a time and explain it step by step. This will help clarify our goal of making disciples in a healthy church environment, and explain how we are currently doing it.
2. Who are we? It’s a question dealing with Freshwater’s core-values
Freshwater has a unique organizational culture that supports our goal of making disciples in a healthy church environment. We have a culture of authenticity, vibrancy, and spiritual growth that reflects a diverse, welcoming, come-as-you-are attitude. This culture is anchored in our core-values and applied in all of our disciplemaking strategies such as: men’s fight clubs, women’s bible studies, small groups, One-to-one Discipleship, Good News Clubs for children, and Student Ministries to name a few.
1. Practical biblical teaching. We desire to teach the Bible in a relevant manner that is understandable and useful to all people.
2. Excellent worship. We desire to help people engage with God through spirit-filled, culturally relevant worship.
3. Relaxed, inviting atmosphere. We desire to cultivate an environment that enhances receptivity to the Gospel.
4. Exceptional Children’s, student and family ministry. We desire to provide the best possible, Christ-centered, fun and inviting experience for every member of the family.
5. Significant, healthy relationships. We desire to create groups that build community and deepen relationships in order to teach people necessary skills to grow in their faith and make disciples.
6. Multiplication. We desire to fulfill God’s mandate for making disciples by adding multi-site campuses, launching new churches, and supporting missionary efforts.
Freshwater’s unique culture has been created by developing core-values that support it. This culture is reflected in the behaviors of every member, regular attender, volunteer, and staff member. It is affirmed in the meanings that Freshwater people attach to their actions. The culture is taught to new members both formally and informally through training and around the coffee counter. This culture affects the way we interact with one another and in group settings. It is also seen in the public’s perception of Freshwater as a whole.
This culture is carried by everyone on the Freshwater team from volunteers to full time staff members. It is even reflected in the layout of our campuses, the central coffee bars, the paint colors, programs, and even the carpet. It can be seen in our systems, published wording, and logo.
You can get a solid sense of an organizations culture by observing the way the members and attenders talk about the organization. For example, Starbucks is known for great coffee and for having a great environment. Starbucks mission statement reads: “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” They call their core-values “principles” and all of them are wrapped around giving the customer a great experience. This is their statement regarding their customers: “When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers – even if just for a few moments. Sure, it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection.” Starbucks is a great example of a company that intentionally creates a culture that helps to build their brand and shore up their bottom line. This culture derives from their “guiding principles” in the same way that Freshwater culture is derived from our core-values.
In the next blog we will explore why Freshwater exists. The answer is found in our purpose. Until then……