There are several steps to begin the transformation needed in a church to move from "salvation-only" emphasis to "full gospel engagement." We call them the Pillars of Service Ethos Cultural Transformation. They are:





1. Commitment by Staff & Lay Leaders

Transforming a church's culture takes time, energy, courage and

determination and must first be fully committed to by the senior

pastor, the pastoral staff and key lay leaders (deacons, trustees,

committee leaders, bible study leaders, etc.). The commitment

process may take a few months and will involve building the case

for transformation through a series of assessments completed by

church leaders and members, and facilitated meetings to fully

understand what is being asked of them.


2. Membership Accountability

For half a century protestant churches have avoided "accountability"

for its members, usually for two reasons: one, to avoid any linkage

with "saved by works"; and, two, because the members generally

don't want to be held accountable or feel guilty for not living up to

the standards set. This is not new. But to move from a "belief" based

church to an "action" based one requires some type of gentle




Developing measurements that will be embraced by the

members will take creativity and experimenting. It will likely

include marrying technology (to make it easier and low cost) to

the membership experience, and any measurement will only

work when it is aligned completely with the desired outcome

being sought. More detailed measurements will be also

introduced at the church level to provide the information needed

to inform strategic decisions like pastoral themes, platform

emphasis, marketing and communication focus, and budget



Reward & Recognition

Positive recognition of achievement, especially in the beginning

of a new initiative, is critical. To be effective recognition must be

positive, meaningful, consistent and frequent. It can range from

‘pats on the back’ and ‘way to go’ from anyone to certificates of

accomplishment. Because we are striving for engagement, not

perfection, the recognition will center on making an effort. To do

this a system will be implemented to provide on-going recognition

from the first action forward.


3. Training & Involvement

The core of the concept is adding to the "salvation gospel" an element

of action centered on serving others. Churches' have emphasized the

"serve others" by encouraging individual effort and through church

created ministries. Mostly it has looked to get members to participate

by giving money to the church for missions that can then be combined

with other churches to deliver ministry and misson. Members don't

know what "serving the 'least of these'" looks like, except for the

examples of Jesus. To get a cross-church baseline understanding of

this concept will mean a training & education system around serving

others, and a series of involvements that participants can grow through

on their way to fully actuated "servants for Christ."


4. Integrate Across Church Practices & Ministries

There are several fully developed elements that are already working

through the church, and these will be linked to the "serving others"

concept. This linkage will not be to change the original element, but to

position "servants for Christ" as one of the key objectives. Beginning

with a list of the church's efforts (budget, staff, themes, activities,

calendar, events, etc.) each will have an integration model to leverage

it toward enabling "servants for Christ" without detracting from the

original purpose of the effort.


Worship Services & Other Gatherings

Weekly church meetings are the place where the largest number

of members and participants gather offering a key opportunity for

communicating the themes and concepts of the serving others

transformation. Each gathering will be looked at from a "how can

we support serving others and make servants for Christ?" point of

view. This will include worship services, mid-week, on-campus

small groups, and other church organized meetings. 


Bible Study & Small Groups

The "take away" or call to action for church courses will be

adjusted to include "serving others" in every lesson, theme and

call to action. Just as there is a strategic outcome desired for

salvation, baptism, discipleship, stewardship - serving others will

be elevated to the same level of priority.


Budget & Staff

At present, it is likely that very little of the church's operating

expenses are directed toward serving others (staff, resources,

time, etc.) as defined in this proposal. A goal of shifting spending

toward "serving others" will be established that moves from

current to 10% of budget over a three-year period. Similarly, a

full-time leadership position will eventually be needed to support

the pastors and enact the plans.


Ongoing Ministry Review & Re-calibration

Quarterly there will be a week of reflection on a few of these elements to see how it's going, what is working, and what can be improved. Some things will be stopped, or built upon, or integrated into other ideas with an objective of continuous improvement and excitement around the effort.


5. Marketing & Communication

Keeping the church's participants informed about change is key to creating confidence and involvement.  A variety of communication strategies are available and will be developed to leverage methods to stay in touch that are easy, low/no cost, flexible, adaptive and fun.


Pillars of Service Ethos Cultural Transformation