Does your ministry organization have a set of values? I’m sure it does. Are they written down? Well…
Some of the most successful organizations in history spent time naming their values and encouraging their entire organization to live by them. Disney, Nordstrom, Johnson & Johnson, just to name a few. In ministry, many of our values tend to be really clear. Since Christian churches stem from the Gospel values of Jesus’ life, it’s easy to come up with some values off the top of our head. But what are values and why are they important?
Values are your organization’s essential and enduring tenets. They are a small set of general guiding principles never be compromised (Built to Last, 73). Or, as Ken Blanchard put it, values are your ministries operational guidelines.
A vision and mission statement alone are not enough to ensure that your ministry will be successful and that your people, both volunteers and staff, will know how to bring that vision to reality. Values provide guidance.
For instance, the values of REAL Ministry are intentionally thought out. They are:
- Personal growth
- Servant leadership
- Empowering leaders to empower leaders
- Creativity in equipping and resourcing
- Responding to the specific needs of those we serve
These values tell me that, no matter what, these are five things I will do to make the mission statement become a reality. I know that, in order to truly equip and empower churches and ministry organizations to grow to their maximum potential, I too must be learning and growing on a constant basis. I am life-long learner (value #1).
Value #2 helps me focus on how Jesus lived out his leadership. It was not about authority or power. It was about service. This value reminds me that I am in the service of anyone who calls upon me.
Value #3 helps me realize that my goal is to help leaders empower and train their own leaders after I am long gone. It’s a multiplication effect. I do not want ministries and churches to be dependent on me. I want to empower and teach leaders to do the same thing for their people that I am doing for them.
Value #4 tells me that I must always be creative and think outside of the box when it comes to offering resources. Leadership development needs to change with the times. The way leaders were trained in the 1990′s is not the way I should be training leaders today.
Value #5 reminds me that I must always listen to my clients so that I know exactly what they are looking for, not what I THINK they need. I do not come with a canned presentation. My goal is to shape all of my trainings and resources to meet the specific needs of the organization I am working with.
Roy Disney stated, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Values add tremendous value to any church or ministry. So, let me ask again: have you written down the values of your church or ministry? The funny thing is that I have done this for REAL Ministry, but I haven’t done it for my diocesan ministry in San Jose. I guess I should start now.
I’ll let you know how I go about doing that in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned…
Question: What are your church’s or ministry’s values?