3 Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Relationship

Creating A Culture Of Relationship


People felt safe coming to Jesus. We see this again and again. From children to the woman with the issue of blood, somehow Jesus was able to create the kind of space in a relationship where people could bring the truth of their circumstance forward and deal with it. We call this space a relational environment.

Relational Environments are much more than simply small groups. They certainly include small groups, but everywhere you go, you have a “vibe,” a feeling that people get about you.

[tweetthis]Jesus created relationships where people could bring the truth of their circumstance forward and deal with it[/tweetthis]

I say it this way – everywhere you go, you give off an emotional stench. We want this stench to be a good smell, not a bad one. Now, people can absolutely misread us. That happens all the time. But it happens a lot less when we are intentional about how we come across. Here are some actions that will help manage the culture in a positive way.

Eyeglasses manSmile:

I am genetically flawed for leadership. Here is what I mean: I have an oversized head, squinty eyes, and a natural scowl. Simply being lost in a thought for a brief moment gives off all the wrong ideas about how I feel and more importantly how I feel about the people I am with.

An intentional smile makes all the difference. When I was younger in ministry, an older man who had many years of experience challenged me with this idea – just intentionally smile. It seems silly, but it is a game changer for the people we serve and the people we serve with.

you are great compliment    Be generous with compliments:

Speak blessings into people’s lives. It is a big dose of life giving energy. The Jews believe that when you bless someone, you obligate God to pull off the words you speak. This is also true for curses. Be in the habit of speaking life and the power of God into people’s lives.

Some of the ways you can compliment:

  • Compliment who people are, not what they do.
  • Tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Let them know that you would be less effective if they weren’t in your life.
  • How have they made your life better?
  • And always make sure that you reaffirm other people’s potential and the truth of who God made them to be. If you can’t answer that question as a leader, look deeper.


thank you orange speech bubble isolated on whiteAccept feedback with a Thank You:
It is always interesting what people take away from sermons. And most of the “critique” that we receive has nothing to do with what we were actually trying to communicate. Recently, I went on a tangent in the sermon that apparently set off one man in particular. He couldn’t get to me in the lobby fast enough. And he completely missed huge pieces of what I had said because he had already decided what he was going to challenge me on. I would have loved to let him have it. He was wrong. And he was unfounded. And more than that, he embarrassed me in the lobby of my own church.

I simply said, “Thank you. I will do better next time.”

Now, before we get to “Oh what an amazing leader,” make no mistake – all I wanted to do was punch him in the mouth. But I believe in the value of feedback. So, I must be willing to take feedback with which I disagree, with as much grace and value as that with which I agree. An open door policy is not an open door policy if people are afraid to walk through the door. Just because your door is open doesn’t mean people can talk to you.

[tweetthis]I must be willing to take feedback with which I disagree, with as much grace and value as that with which I agree.[/tweetthis]

  • Just say Thank You. Process it later when it is safe and the risk of damaging the other person is gone. If the person wants to process it with you, set up a time a little later to do that so you have time to think through what is being said. Pray before you speak.
  • Please don’t defend yourself. Be like Jesus. 1 Peter 2:23 says, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

There is certainly more to be said on this topic, but hopefully this will get the conversation going.

So please share: How do you create a relational environment?

Aaron Couch Bio