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These are not doctrines or rules of a church but what we believe!!
THE IMPORTANCE OF CORE VALUES
- Values determine a church’s ministry distinctives. No two ministries are alike. Some churches focus on biblical preaching and teaching, others on evangelism, and still others on counseling or the family. This is why it is acceptable to start churches even when there are other churches nearby. Different churches reach different people. The determiner is the essential values.
- Values dictate people’s personal involvement in the church. Church leaders can spare themselves and their churches grief by communicating their values to all who are considering becoming a part of the church. Communicate the values early in the life of the church and repeatedly throughout the life of the church. Encourage those with similar values to join. Encourage those with different values to look for a church that is more in line with their values.
- Values communicate what’s important. Values signal your ministry’s bottom line and make it clear what you believe is God’s heart for your church. If a core value is evangelism, make it known.
- Values help people embrace positive change. Changes in American society are having an impact on churches. Some of the changes have been good and some bad. The key question is: Does this change agree with or contradict the ministry’s core values? Reject that which contradicts, and accept that which agrees.
- Values affect the church’s overall behavior. Values shape the entire organization, determine the ministry’s direction, and dictate every decision you make and every dollar you spend.
- Values inspire people to action. The shared beliefs of leaders and followers are the motivators that energize people to take action. Values infuse ministry with meaning. They touch people at a deeper level that provides a sense of cause and brings significance to their lives.
- Values enhance credible leadership. Many leaders, as well as their churches, are values-driven and the ministries they build reflect those values. As go the leaders, so goes the church. Leaders with good values build ministries of integrity.
- Values shape a ministry’s character. Values are the qualities that make up an organization’s character. This character determines how an organization conducts its ministry.
- Values contribute to ministry success. An organization’s ingrained ownership and understanding of its core beliefs make it possible for its people to be successful in ministry.
DEFINING CORE VALUES
A church’s primary values are defined as its constant, passionate, biblical core beliefs that drive its ministry. This definition has five key elements.
- Core values are constant. Core values change very slowly. Change usually takes from 2 to 4 years. This is why it is hard to revitalize an established church. It takes time to change people’s values. Consequently, it’s critical that you begin with the right values.
- Core values are passionate. Vision is a seeing word; passion is a feeling word. Core values touch the heart and elicit strong emotions. They stir feelings that can move people to biblical, Christ-honoring ministry.
- Core values are biblical. The true test of a credo or values statement is: Does it square with Scripture? The statement doesn’t have to be found in the Bible, but it shouldn’t contradict the Bible.
- Core values are core beliefs. People use various synonyms for values: precepts, principles, tenets, standards, or assumptions. Values are your primary or core beliefs. A belief is a conviction or opinion you hold to be true based on limited evidence or proof.
- Values drive the ministry. Values are the deeply ingrained drivers behind the behavior of a church. This includes the decisions made, money spent, risks taken, problems solved, goals set, and priorities determined.