Messages of the Moment compiled by Rev. E. Anderson


Rev. E. Anderson


                                                                                  by Rev. Gareth Morgan 

Culture can perhaps be described as ‘the way things are done around here.’

I remember as a child going to a Methodist chapel while on holiday with my parents, and the minister praying at the end of the meeting. At this point, back in our home, church people would stand up and there would be a warm and chatty environment – it wasn’t the case at this chapel, though, as I soon found out.

I stood up and shouted, ‘Come on, dad, let’s go to the arcade!’ Almost at this point my arm almost left its socket as my mum pulled me back into my chair. Everyone was supposed to remain in silence as the minister left the building.

What I had done was to violate the laws of that  culture, because’ that’s not the way things are around here.

Planting a culture is like creating a garden. I am no landscape gardener, but for the purpose of this analogy I will take on the work of Alan Tichmarsh.

Envisaging a garden

I can determine what grows in my garden and what it becomes because it will be modelled on who I am. As leaders, we can have a wish-list of qualities we want to see in those who follow us, but are they visible in our lives? The key thing about culture is that it should ultimately flow from the senior leader. If I do not watch over my garden then it will become open to wild flowers, weeds and all kinds of bad seeds.

Sowing Seeds

If I want to grow any kind of plant in my garden then seeds must be sown, watered and allowed to grown over time.

Likewise, growing a culture is a process that takes time and constant attention.  Took my culture into that Methodist chapel – and didn’t know about it.

Taking Cuttings

When landscaping my garden, I would think about other gardens I’d seen. Are there any churches that I have walked into and whose special qualities have impressed me? One thing gardeners are keen to do is to take cuttings of plants from other people.

Keep Weeding

Some things must be deterred from entering my garden. It will take a lot of time to cultivate a culture, and there will be those who will try to create a counter-culture. A culture, like a garden, needs to be protected and watched over.