Foreign tissue rejectionEvery church, team or organization develops its own culture. It has a certain DNA in terms of how the people relate to each other, what they do, and the values they live out. Sometimes when someone new joins the team, there is a mismatch of that DNA– particularly when the culture is strong.

What I’ve discovered happens automatically in that situation is what I call “foreign tissue rejection.” The body will reject the foreign substance and that person will find their way out.

Foreign tissue rejection can happen in a healthy way. If your group’s core values are healthy and you have a clear philosophy of ministry, this defense mechanism will help protect against the introduction of something potentially unhealthy to the body. For instance, if a new staff member comes in without a strong work ethic and the rest of the team has a strong work ethic, that person will almost certainly be rejected by the system.

The reverse side, of course, is if the core values of the organization are unhealthy and you are a healthy person walking into that environment, you will also experience foreign tissue rejection. If the church staff has an unhealthy culture of workaholism, a healthy leader will often be rejected.

Foreign tissue rejection is a good way to think about what happens when something different gets injected into an existing system.