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6 Ways to Build a Community of Grace and Truth

So we’ve seen that Jesus was full of grace and truth, and we’ve seen what a community of grace and truth looks like, but how do we actually begin to build a culture of grace and truth?

It’s one thing to get the diagnosis, but it’s quite another to become healthy! If we’ve noticed we have a Hangout Culture, or a Call-Out Culture (see the previous post if you don’t know what these mean), how do we begin to move toward the Call-In Culture, full of grace and truth?

1. Beyond Tips and Techniques

First of all, it’s important to recognize that we can’t build a new culture by learning a couple of new “leadership tips.” Tips and techniques will only put a band-aid on what is a far deeper problem.

If we want to see lasting change in our life and leadership and build a Call-In Culture, we need to move beyond tips and techniques and learn posture and presence. We don’t “tweak” ourselves into a new way of being. We have to go beyond just modifying behavior and step into transformation of character. Beyond striving and into becoming.

We also need to go beyond “leadership” and into “life.” Culture-building isn’t a “leadership” issue (at least not in the way we normally think about leadership).

For example, if you try to build a Call-In Culture at work but your relationship with your spouse and children doesn’t change, you’re not getting it!

This is a relational issue, a human issue, an all-of-life issue. You can’t be full of grace and truth in the board room and empty at home. That’s impossible! You are who you are, no matter where you are. Being full of grace and truth isn’t a skill we learn so we can lead our staff better, it’s a completely new way of being that will affect every aspect of my life!

So with those important caveats said, let’s move on into the nuts and bolts. How do we begin to build a Call-In Culture, full of grace and truth?

2. Ask Questions First

The absolute best thing you can do at first is ask yourself some questions. Become compassionately curious about yourself. Why do you find it difficult to calibrate grace or truth? What’s going on in your heart that’s causing you to shrink back from telling the truth or being gracious?

Better yet, find someone who can ask you some great questions to help you think outside your box. This is why I’ve found coaching to be the very best vehicle for sustained personal transformation.

I’ve found that fear is often the main issue for those who are stuck in a Hangout Culture. If that’s you, begin by asking, “What am I afraid of?” Let your imagination go to the worst case scenario, and then ask, “Why is that so terrifying for me?” Explore how you can trust God in that area of fear.

I’ve also found that flesh is often the main issue for those who are stuck in a Call-Out Culture. (By “flesh,” I mean using human effort to try to make something good happen.) If that’s you, begin by asking, “What am I trying to prove?” or “What am I trying to make happen?” Often the answer will be something that’s good in and of itself, like “I want my family to stop fighting.”

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Ben Sternke has been involved in Christian ministry for over 25 years. He is an Anglican priest, church planter at The Table (https://thetableindy.org), leadership coach/consultant with Gravity Leadership (https://gravityleadership.com), and also helps churches and nonprofits hone their messaging and cultivate their online presence with Lifesize Digital (https://lifesizedigital.com). He lives in the Indianapolis area with his wife Deb, their four kids, and a little dog named Edith.