Culture is engrained into our everyday lives. Everyplace you turn exhibits culture; your home, your workplace, the restaurant you eat at, it doesn't matter where you go, there is culture.
Culture is learned through family, what we see, and what we experience. So what is culture? Culture, according to Sam Chand in his book, "Cracking Your Church's Culture Code", is "This is how we do things here!" There is no stronger force in the life of an organization than its culture. It's even stronger than your mission, your vision, core values, purpose statements, your strategies, your goals, and your objectives. Culture is your sustaining affect. The world receives revelation that impacts society before the church does.
In Acts 2:17 and Joel 2:28 "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." A young person who attends our church shared with me a revelation she experienced while in her orientation for a new job:
"While sitting in orientation I was learning about the history of the new company I would be working for, and something he said reminded me of your message on Sunday. He said; 'We have created a culture here that we want you to be a part of, welcome to the family.' He continued with, 'When you have an environment where people feel welcomed and comfortable they will want to come back.' I was almost in tears because of the message you had just spoke on, and then he confirmed all of it. I was like; 'WHOA! Ok, I hear you Lord, loud and clear!'"
Walt Disney had a revelation. In the fall of 1918, he attempted to enlist in the military. However, with him being 16 and underage, he joined the Red Cross as an alternative. He was sent to France where he spent a year driving an ambulance and chauffeuring Red Cross officials. Instead of his ambulance being covered in camouflage, it was covered stem to stem with Disney cartoons. Upon his return from France, he pursued a career in commercial art. The first company he started, Laugh-O-Grams, eventually fell bankrupt. So he headed to Hollywood with a suitcase, and twenty dollars in his pocket. Unfortunately, Walt Disney passed away 5 years prior to the opening of Disney World; it was a major dream for him. During the inauguration a man said to Walt's brother, Roy Disney, "If only Walt were here to see this." Roy responded with, "He did, or you wouldn't have!" Walt Disney is quoted saying, "Do what you do so well they'll want to see it again and bring their friends."
Does the culture in your church, business, and ministry leave people with such a WOW impression that they want to return and bring their friends?