Shaping Culture

Michael Bishop 22 May 2017 DLA  sunday blog  values 

On Thursday this last week our Women’s Auxiliary hosted their annual Women’s Open Day and welcomed guests from other churches in the area. The WA are celebrating their 85th birthday this year and Patsy Williams read us fascinating extracts from early minute books going right back to the founding of this WA. We were reminded again of the faithfulness of God who journeys with his people through each generation.

The guest speakers for the morning were the co-principals of DLA, Colleen Moodley and Niki Balkovic. It was so inspiring to hear them describe the vision and culture of this amazing high school that we now host on our property. If you have questions about DLA, find a WA member – they are now experts on the ins and outs of the school :)

What struck me about what the DLA Principals shared was that this little school actually embodies what they say they value. So, it is not at all unusual to hear leaders speak about the values of their organisation, but what is striking in this instance is to see those values genuinely fleshed out in the culture of the school. It was impressive to hear Colleen and Niki describing values that we have already seen acted out in the months that the school has been here – especially DLA’s twin convictions that love comes before learning and that every single child is uniquely gifted with incredible potential.

Shaping culture is a critical task for leaders – something I think the DLA team are doing brilliantly. What is organisational culture? I’ve heard it defined as “the way we do things around here” or “the personality of the organisation”. Stop and think for a moment about UMC’s community culture – our personality, the way we do things here (and be aware that the longer we have been a part of UMC the LESS aware we are of our culture – newcomers are the best observers of culture). What are the strengths of this community? Do we live out or embody the things we say we value?

Important questions – maybe you’d like to comment on our website? Register at and join the 50 UMC members who signed up during this last week :)


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