culture guide

Welcome to the Team!
Every church is part of a greater body of believers; the “Big C” Church. But every individual church is unique in its culture and values and has its own D.N.A. Many people join churches for preaching, the kids ministry, the worship, or even out of convenience. But at Generation Church, we want you to be a part of the living, breathing culture that helps us accomplish the Mission and Vision that God has given us.

Our D.N.A. is shaped by Jesus Himself. How he treated others, how He lived His life, His approach to ministry, and how He lived with purpose and passion. Our culture shapes how we treat our community, our families, and one another. It shapes how we lead and make decisions.

If you’re joining this team then you’ve probably experienced GC’s culture and D.N.A. to some extent. Our prayer is that you would carry that irresistible culture into your every day lives so that those who are far from God will come to know the love of Jesus!

PART ONE: A LITTLE BIT OF OUR STORY

Starting a Church was never the dream of pastor Brandon Petty. In fact, 15 years of student ministry and counting, his passion was always the Next Generation. But in January of 2010, God began to stir his heart to start a Church that would fill a spiritual void in a broken community. One that had seen drugs, a recession that had hurt industry, broken homes, and abuse become front and center. In 2010, Portland, TN had around 13,000 people…and over 10,000 did not attend Church regularly.
A product of abuse and drugs growing up himself, pastor Brandon identified with so many people’s stories. Many who grew up in the church had left the church. A new generation was growing up without faith and without Jesus. He and a core team of about 8 people set out to Resurrect Family Trees for Generations to Come. 

On March 4, 2012, Generation Church launched with 482 people in attendance on the first Sunday of its existence. Just 6 weeks later at the first Easter Experience, more than 800 people showed up and 89 people were baptized. Since then, hundreds have come to Christ and been baptized. And in 8 short of years was named one of the fastest growing Churches in America. 

Generation Church now helps start other churches across America and has a passion to develop leaders. We have seen God do some incredible things…and the best is YET to come!

PART 2: A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR CULTURE

Although our methods must always change depending on our environment, our D.N.A. is the same. It’s the recipe for success as a Church to fulfill the Great Commission and reach those who are far from God. 
Who We Are
Our Purpose: To help people move from where THEY ARE to where GOD WANTS THEM TO BE.
Our Mission: Engage, Connect, Empower, and Make a Difference.
Our Offering: We offer a relationship with God instead of religion.
Our Cause and Inspiration: We lead people to a closer relationship with Christ.
The Effect: Living for God is no longer an obligation, it’s a desire.

What We Do
The Roles: Serve Teams, Small Group Leaders, and Staff
The Goal: People open their hearts to God.
The Measure: People commit to taking next steps with God.
The Effort: We take people on a journey of life change.
The Outcome: Everyone is making a difference and living a fulfilled life.

How We Are Known
Our Physical Identity: Authentic
Our Emotional Identity: Enjoyable
Our Intellectual Identity: Relevant
Our Social Identity: Accepting
Our Spiritual Identity: Powerful

Why It Matters
Vision: We want to resurrect family trees for generations to come.
Opportunity: We can be a part of something bigger than ourselves. 
Insight: We organize our lives around Mission, Vision, and Culture.
Commitment: You’ll be fulfilled, find significance, and have influence.
Experience: Become a version of yourself that you haven’t met yet.

Our culture

You May Experience 

CELEBRATION (Get People to the Party)

We will create an atmosphere of celebration; especially when people take a next step in their faith journey. We will take on the attitude and heart of the Prodigal Son’s father. We want to get people to the party, not make it difficult for them to belong.

EXCELLENCE (Finish the 5%)

Excellence is in the eye of the beholder; everyone views it differently. But our heart is to do the very best with what we have. It’s also about taking initiative and going above and beyond. Finishing the 5% is about doing the task that many leave undone.

LIFE GIVING (Be a Well of Life)

People want to be around those who refresh them. Being an encourager, being kind, and being authentic gives people life. The world around us gives enough negativity and back biting; we want to create an atmosphere of love and life.

POWER AND PRESENCE FILLED (Prioritize the Presence)

Prayer and Worship are vital to the life of our Church. They are not programs of what we do; they are priorities of who we are. We fight to create powerful, presence filled worship experiences and it starts with our daily lives.
.

WELCOME/AT HOME (Heart For the House)

Everyone is welcome at Generation Church even though Generation Church is not for everyone. We are ALL Guest Services. It’s every volunteer’s role to make people feel at home.

GRATITUDE (We GET to do this)

We believe that gratitude determines our attitude. The moment we stop showing gratitude is the moment we take it for granted. We don’t HAVE to serve, we GET to serve. We don’t HAVE to give, we GET to give. Gratitude is the game changer for experiencing a fulfilled life in Christ.

our values

1. Prayer and Worship
  •  Jesus at the Center
2. Generosity
  • We are God's greatest resource
  • We will lead the way in generosity
3. Families
  • We will resurrect family trees
  • We will fight for families
4. Teachable
  • We will lean in, take notes, and engage
  • We value personal growth
5. Authentic Community
  •  We refuse to hide behind fig leaves
  • We will be honest, open, and transparent
  • We will grow smaller while growing larger - Small Group
6. The Next Generation
  • Kids and students are a priority 
  • The wave of the future starts with investing in the students now
7. Active Faith
  • We believe big and start small
8. Multiplication
  • We will empower others to do ministry
  • Jesus' call was to make disciples, not just doers
  • We are committed to see Jesus work IN and THROUGH others, not just ourselves.

PART 3: A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE DO

“To ENGAGE those far from God, CONNECT them to Jesus and the local church, and EMPOWER them to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”
Engage: Weekend Experiences/Online
Our Weekend Experiences are designed to engage the non-church person. We try and fight against inward language and practices that may isolate or feel threatening to the first time guest. It’s our first impression for the Church and for Jesus.

Connect: Small Groups
Small Groups is truly where spiritual growth begins to happen. It has nothing to do with deeper Bible Study, it has everything to do with relationships that build, hold accountable, and equip. Every story of deeper life change in our church starts with small groups. 

Empower: Next Steps/Discover Path
Through a simple process, you can discover more about God, yourself, and the Church through our Discover Path. It’s the best way to get involved and start your growth process. 

Make a Difference: Partnership/Serve/Give
Becoming a Partner means you are joining our team to help serve, give, and get involved with the mission and vision directly. It’s not about simply “joining” the Church. It’s taking ownership and doing your part.

Regular Ways We Make a Difference:

21 Days of Prayer
Every January we start the new year with 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. We believe in the power of firsts. Giving God the first of our day, week, month, and year. Giving Him the first of our finances and time. 21 Days of Prayer gets us focused for the next year of ministry.

Giving and “Make a Difference” Offering
Tithing is the absolute basic and lowest form of giving. We teach the New Testament principle of generosity, which is above and beyond 10%. Every December we take part in our “Make a Difference” Offering. This Offering goes to:
  • A Person (Family in Need)
  • A Place (Expansion as a Church)
  • A Partner (Outreach Partner)
  • Through this gift, we want to avoid Capital Campaigns. We want to live generously, eliminate debt, meet needs in the community, and continue to expand and grow.

Lead Small Groups
Leading a small group is one of the greatest ways to make a difference in our Church. Whether in person, online, interest based, or curriculum based, we can help resource and prepare you to lead a small group.

Landmark Network
Landmark is an Association of Churches that are focused on planting churches, developing leaders, and missions. Generation Church is a founding member of the Network and pastor Brandon serves as the Network President. All of our national and international missions effort is done through this network.

Converge
Converge is a movement of churches working to help people meet, know and follow Jesus. The Network does this by starting and strengthening churches together worldwide. Pastor Brandon serves as a Church Planting Coach for Church Planters across the nation and is involved with Assessing future leaders and planters.

Reach
This is our IN-Reach and OUT-Reach ministries. Whether it’s care, out reach events, partnerships, missions, hospital visits, weddings, funerals, etc., it is done through our Reach Ministries.

Events
We do several recurring events each year. They are subject to change each year. Some of our events include, but are not limited to:
  • Love Day/Week: We hold an all day serve day in our community doing various community service projects. From clean up crews, construction, prayer, and more, Love Day/Week is the biggest Event we do all year. 
  • Mens and Women’s Events
  • Student and Kids' Camps
  • G-Tree Christmas: Each year, we are able to bless hundreds of families for Christmas. It’s our own version Angel Tree. 
  • Trunk or Treat
  • Internships
  • If you are wanting to get hands on experience in ministry, learn more about leadership, or learn more about your calling, The GC Internship may be for you. We love developing leaders and equipping them to make a difference.

PART 4:  A LITTLE BIT OF WHO WE ASPIRE TO BE

We’re not anywhere near perfect, and that’s why we set our hearts on some key behaviors that we believe make our work, our church, and ourselves better. Our hope is for these behaviors to turn into habits. Every day, we have a choice between repeating what is easy or implementing what is effective.
We can lean on what has always been or take steps toward what could be. We believe to move forward we have to think critically and creatively, ask ourselves “what if,” always be evolving, never settle for the status quo, and encourage each other in the process. These habits are what we like to call "Lead--Attitudes". Just as Jesus laid out "BE--Attitudes" for how believers will impact a world, "Lead--Attitudes" is how we will impact our immediate culture. That is, habits that keep us moving in the right direction toward our common goal.
Lead Attitudes 
I want us to LEAD who we want others to be, and BE who we want others to lead.

It’s us developing people for who we believe a leader should look like Biblically AND organizationally. It’s easy to say that all leaders look the same at all churches, but not all churches value the same behaviors.

Then, it’s us asking ourselves:
What are we asking others to do that we don’t embrace ourselves?
  • Leadership should never be a “do as I say” but “do as I do AND as I teach”. 
  • Just as Jesus broke down the “Be-attitudes” with 9 of them broken up into 3 sections of 3 (empty, filled, fulfilled), we have developed growth attitudes that are broken up into 3 Main Sections:

1. Responsibly
  • These are 3 attitudes or behaviors that our main responsibility.
  • We can’t control certain gifts, leadership capacity, etc. BUT we can control who we are becoming as a person. Our responsibility is to become a better version of ourselves.
Those 3 Attitudes are:
  • Dependable
  • Spirt Led
  • Family

2. Reachability
  • This has to do with our ability to stretch ourselves.
  • This is where gifting, capacity, and abilities collide.
  • Some people have a longer reach than others, a faster reach than others, or even more desire to reach than others.
  • Not everyone is cut out for leadership and not every leader will reach a high level of leadership. But I do believe our responsibility will help shape our reachability.
Those 3 attitudes are:
  • Innovative 
  • Adaptable
  • Learner

3. Results
  • This is the outcome of reaching our full potential.
  • It’s also the culture that takes place as a result of people taking responsibility and going after their reachability.
Those 3 attitudes are:
  • Productive 
  • Multipler
  • FUN!

The Part I Play is Smaller Than What I Get to Be a Part of

In our home, we don’t just take care of one room or a single area; we take responsibility for the whole house. Similarly, as Generation Church Partners, we love the whole house. We don’t walk by a piece of trash on the floor without picking it up just because that is “not our department.” As caretakers of the house, we care about every room and every area, and we take responsibility in helping every person have a great experience.

We realize that our ROLE is only a part of the WHOLE. We can't get consumed with our ministry that we forget the mission. Some examples of Partners who champion the mission:

  • Be early for everything.
  • Be a “can do” person. When someone needs something, be the solution.
  • Always smile! Our enthusiasm changes the environment.
  • Take care and responsibility like you own the place.
  • Be excellent in the ordinary. Be faithful in the little things.
  • Leave our guests with a lasting memory of Highlands hospitality.
  • Regularly ask our guests and fellow staff members, “How can I help?”
  • Repeat our vision and values every chance you get.
  • Actively look for people to mentor.
  • See potential and believe the best in others.
  • Give people important work to do.
  • Failure is a part of growing. Help people grow by asking the right questions when they fail.
  • Invest time: People are always worth it.
  • Commit to a long term process. Keep investing.
  • Connect regularly with the people you’re developing.
  • Reproduce reproducers. Instill the value of developing people.

in closing

From day one, we've said "we GET to do this". Gratitude will always shape our attitude. Perspective, mindsets, personal growth is our responsibility as growing believers in Christ. May we never forget what got us here; taking risks, being consistent with our culture, being passionate about life change, living out our core values, being willing to change CONSTANTLY, and being a church who honors and seeks God. 

Generation Church is a church where everyone is welcome, but it's not for everyone. If you choose to serve in this Church, you're owning and championing who we are and what we are about. Thank you saying 'yes' to the privilege of being a part of a move of God!