Two interesting articles in Leadership Journal recently discussed how to determine your church's ethos, the normally unacknowledged culture that dominates what really gets done, and what the values are. Ethos is defined by the author, Angie Ward, as "a set of shared attitudes, values, and beliefs that define church and shape its practices". Of course, these things aren't usually written down anywhere, and in fact are often in direct conflict with "mission statements" or other explicit goals. As Ward points out, we can aspire to being a "seeker-sensitive" church, when in fact our practices are downright seeker-hostile.
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