What’s in your church’s DNA? 

DNA: The genetic code of a church that is displayed in the mission, vision and values of the church and lived out through its ministries and members.  

Every organization has communication patterns, behavior expectations, and language codes that determine the culture of the organization.  The urgency of its mission or compliance to the status quo is determined by the organization’s culture.  How members communicate with peers vs. leaders in the organization is determined by the organizational culture.  Congregations are no different.  Each congregation has DNA that allows them to be unique in the expression of their purpose, yet connected to the Body of Christ.  For the purpose of this blog I would like to suggest that DNA exists on two levels. The macro level is what connects the entire Body of Christ, and the micro level is the local churches expression of their God given purpose. For those congregations that exist within a denominational structure, a third level of denominational DNA certainly affects how they express their God given purpose.  Some congregations serve the poor, homeless and those marginalized by society, while ignoring the popular trends to build new buildings and engage in the latest technology. Some congregations are awesome at reaching seekers and unchurched people, while other churches are fantastic at discipling believers toward maturity. Some congregations reach into the community and provide meaningful services for residents and other congregations excel at ministry to care for their members.  

A healthy church is balanced in all of these areas.  Based on Matthew 5:3-16, every Christian church that holds the scripture as their primary source of inspiration should have some basic DNA which connects them to the vision and values of Jesus Christ.



3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

4 “Blessed are those who mourn,

for they shall be comforted.”

5 “Blessed are the meek,

for they shall inherit the earth.”

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they shall be satisfied.”

7 “Blessed are the merciful,

for they shall obtain mercy.”

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they shall see God.”

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they shall be called sons of God.”

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

11 “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored?

It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.”

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  

Doing a DNA Check

William T Chaney Jr
West Baltimore UMC