The Loyola Men’s Basketball team wowed fans all weekend, first defeating Miami and then defeating Tennessee – two teams that outranked them throughout the season. The secret to their success includes a team nun and a wall of culture.
Every family, every organization, every spiritual community lives by sayings and norms often passed down from generation to generation to the point that it becomes part of our DNA. Sometimes they make no sense to outsiders as in these Loyola ditties:
- Ride the Shoulder High
- Get Out of the Mud
Loyola’s cultural sayings are painted on their locker room wall and all that really matters is that they know what the sayings mean.
What are the (honest) cultural sayings that you would paint on your church office or sanctuary walls that reflect the reality and aspirations of your organization? Would they look like this?
- Always Look Backwards
- We Heart Secrets
- Gossip is Our Life Blood
- Fail and Be Shamed
- Cast Them Out
- Let’s Try It
- Expect the Best of Each Other
- Relationships Over Rules
- Who’s Not Included?
- Tell the Truth
Ingrained systems can keep congregations, mid-councils, and other non-profit organizations stuck and dysfunctional or can set them up to move forward and thrive. If we do not know what’s on our proverbial wall of culture, we will continue to perpetuate unhealthy practices.
Our culture spells out what we value, what we tolerate, what our true core values are (as opposed to what we say they are.) It would be interesting to ask our boards and staffs: What’s on our Culture Wall?