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.
- 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!
- Circle 7-10 words in the wordle above that reflect your values (or choose your own). (http://wordle.net/)
- Prayerfully list 4-7 core values and define each one.
- Identify 2-3 behavioral indicators for each of your core values.
- Include a key verse or passage for each of your core values.
- 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!
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