Discover Your Values with Value Cards

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” –Roy Disney

In a recent blog post, I wrote about the importance of values and how you and I should name the values that are our ministry. In that post, I recognized that I had named that values for REAL Ministry, but I had not done so for my other ministry organization. I challenged myself to find a way to name my values for my ministry.

So, that’s what I did. I devoted some extra time to one of our team meetings and spent that time focused on values. And here’s what I did.

I purchased a set of Value Cards. I then followed these instructions with my team:

  1. Review the pack of Values Cards imprinted with words such as profitability, teamwork, fairness, honesty, integrity and family. Identify and prioritize personal values by sorting the cards into three stacks from most to least important. Discard the least-important stack and narrow the remaining cards to the top seven most important personal values.
  2. Compare your personal values with the value statement of the company or other group, such as a school board or volunteer firefighting company, in which you have a leadership role. Decide whether the values are congruent and think about ways to close the gap in any differences.
  3. Use the values cards with work teams to generate discussion and create a stronger group spirit. Help the team identify shared values such as quality, timeliness and courtesy and divergent values such as teamwork vs. independence. Use conversation to build relationships, foster team empowerment and elicit ideas for improvement from front-line staff.

It was really intriguing to watch my team decide which 7 value cards they chose to prioritize. There were 3 values that every member of my team chose. They were:

  • Faith/Religion
  • Family
  • Growth

In retrospect, this was not really a surprise. Each of us work for the church and it makes sense that our faith and religion is a strongly held value. It is amazing how often we talk about our family with each other. Lastly, each of us are really focused on our personal and professional growth.

Here are the other 4 values in my top 7, with an explanation for each:

  • Change: I really value change. Not change for change sake, but when something needs to change. Too often, we stick with systems and programs that may not work well because we’ve always done it that way. I really value change as a way to revitalize and rejuvenate all facets of my life.
  • Fitness: When I work out and eat healthy foods, my days are noticeably better. I enjoy working out and am willing to get up early in the morning to make it happen.
  • Money/Wealth: This may be surprising for us in ministry, but this is one of my values. For me, it’s not so much about material items and having things. I like what money and wealth bring to my family and I. It brings options, security, and the ability to give.
  • Service/Volunteerism: I love giving my time to ministry and other non-profits. I could never see myself working for a for-profit business. For-profit businesses are not bad. It’s just that it’s not a right fit for me and what I love to do.

I encourage you to give this a try. You can do it by yourself, with your spouse, or with your team. I guarantee you that it will be enlightening.

Question: What do you think your personal top 7 values are?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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