Culture Change

Sought by Campus Crusade's Leadership

by Dale Fisher

For the past few months, I've been working on a project for our Global Leadership Development branch of Campus Crusade for Christ International. It has to do with how Campus Crusade leadership wants to see change in the “culture” of our organization.

Our "mission" organization doesn't want to rest on past achievements. It wants instead to stay current, keeping itself on the cutting edge of evangelism and discipleship. As a result, it has instituted such culture changes.

Culture change has five elements. My fellow team member, Stan Gabriel, and I have been working on one element called “learning environment,” along with developing an effective way to present it to our staff. Here's a diagram of all five elements as a whole.


The heart in the center represents a burning heart for God. It is central and the most important part of a leader, as well as any team member. Four key components of Learning Environment are freedom to try new things, freedom to fail, being transparent, and freedom to learn from failures and successes.

I was enlightened recently about the part on transparency in our relationships with others. I feel that you also might benefit from, and be able to apply, the insights that I've gained. My source is Pat Lencioni and his materials, including his book, "Getting Naked," which you can find on this page. Although his ideas are stated in terms of "keeping client loyalty," I think that they also apply to different ministry teams within Campus Crusade, even possibly between people.

There are three fears that sabotage ministry partner loyalty.
1. Fear of losing partnership with them
2. Fear of being embarrassed
3. Fear of feeling inferior

There are ways to overcome each of these. The fear of losing partnership with them often makes us attempt to protect our relationship with them by not giving them honest feedback and by avoiding difficult issues. This can be overcome by just telling the kind truth and entering the danger zone of addressing difficult issues.

The fear of being embarrassed leads us to hold back our ideas, hide our mistakes, and edit ourselves to "save face." To overcome this fear, we need to be willing to ask “dumb” questions, make “dumb” suggestions, and celebrate (instead of hide) our mistakes.

The fear of feeling inferior comes when we feel that we're in over our head and that possibly our partner is smarter than us or classier than us. The way we overcome this is to honor our ministry partner, make everything about him or her or them, and take the blame if something goes wrong.

I try to apply these important ideas to my relationships with other teams that I work with, as well as with friends. I do this not only because these approaches work, but also because they're based on biblical principles.

...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:15 NASB)

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