Clarify Your Values

Values reflect a person’s unique beliefs, core convictions, and guiding principles. These values will guide ongoing attitudes and behaviors. Often times, values are unwritten assumptions that guide actions. In any situation Values are confirmed by actions, not just words.

Values are more about deeds than words. Core values should be able to be expressed in terms of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Values help us determine what to do and what not to do. They’re deep-seated, pervasive standards that influence every aspect of our lives: our moral judgments, our responses to others, our commitments to personal and organizational goals. Values set the parameters for the hundreds of decisions we make every day.
– Kouzes & Posner,
The Leadership Challenge

Another way of viewing values is that values are “rules of the road” for people on a journey.

Core values are necessary to help people with day-to-day decision making. Vision is long term. People need guiding stars to navigate and make decisions day to day. But core values are only helpful if they can be translated into concrete behaviors. For example, one of our core values is openness, which we worked long and hard to understand–finally recognizing that it requires the skills of reflection and inquiry within an overall context of trusting and supporting one another.
– Peter Senge,
The Fifth Discipline

Conflict in churches often arises from differing expectations or values. The mission of Jesus is often hindered because missional values are not embraced in a local church. If these values are absent or not practiced, even the highest levels of commitment to Christ and devotion to one another will not accomplish the mission.

Although they are not our theology they must be firmly rooted in Scripture and thoroughly understood by the leaders and emerging church body. Firmly rooted values protect the church from every strong opinion or dominant personality that tries to shape the church. Strong values keep the church from being taken off course by every fad or new program that comes along.
Steve Ogne, What Are My Ministry Values?

  • Values provide the foundation for formulating goals and setting the direction of your church’s ministry.
  • Most strategic planning fails because values are not articulated at the beginning of the process. If values differ significantly, even the best action plan will not be effectively implemented.
  • Conflict in churches often arises from differing values.

Values Describe Who You Are!

  • They are the hills you have already died on.
  • When the waves come, you will throw values off the ship that are not yours. You’ll throw over the side the things that you don’t hold on to.

Clarifying your values will enable you to

  • Explain to others what you are doing.
  • Build agenda harmony.
  • Maintain your missional focus.
  • Use Resources wisely.

Steps to Clarify Your Values…

Clarifying values is an important step to take when planting a church!

  1. Circle 7-10 words in the wordle above that reflect your values (or choose your own). (
  2. Prayerfully list 4-7 core values and define each one.
  3. Identify 2-3 behavioral indicators for each of your core values.
  4. Include a key verse or passage for each of your core values.
  5. Consider how each of your core values impacts…
  • how you spend your time
  • how you deal with crisis
  • how you budget
  • what you reward

Now, go live your values!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
4 replies
  1. jamesbrett
    jamesbrett says:

    Good post. Many of us don't know why we make the decisions we do, because we're unfamiliar with our own core values. I think it's important to note, too, that our values come from our worldview, which is even more difficult to ascertain and understand than are our values. So often we look at, and condemn, the behaviors of others, failing to see behind that behavior to their values and even how they understand life.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today .
    anyhow thanks for the good read!

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Good dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

  4. Dumela
    Dumela says:

    you say "You don't have to be infantile in your spiritual life. Be a student of the Bible. Saturate yourself with the Bible." – yet if I am right on the whole first page of the blog you only reference the Bible 3 times??

    The world produces a lot of good stuff after all God created it, but be not followers of the world.

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