My previous entry on core values for the church has proved to be one of my most visited postings, so I though I’d expand on that discussion a little. I expect this will also be a topic I come back to in the future. There seem to be a lot of people searching for core values. With that in mind I must apologise that the values listed previously (and again below) are more measures for leadership than core values.
In my mind core values would include things like evangelism, tolerance of differences, openness, generosity to those in need, unselfishness, faithfulness to Scripture, love, justice, forgiveness, grace and holiness. (Obviously this is an incomplete list.)
The difficulty churches face, is condensing the whole NT definition of discipleship into 3 or 4 points. On the one hand this makes the 3-4 points superficial, but on the other hand it’s incredibly helpful to concentrate on just a few things at a time. To help with this we also have an annual theme (the plus one) that emphasises another aspect of our faith.
The three core values (or measures) that our elders came up with are listed below. These reflect the priorities and life stage of our church currently and may change in the future and will probably be different to other churches.
- Personal Spiritual Growth – leading to increased involvement in the work of the church (2 Peter 3:17-18);
- Establishing a Godly Leadership that works together as a team (Acts 6:1-6); and
- Growing Numerically – by demonstrating love and sharing the Gospel (Acts 6:7).
These three points are used by our elders to look back on the year and ask questions. EG. Are we as leaders seeing spiritual growth among our members? Are our ministries encouraging spiritual growth? Are we as elders demonstrating and encouraging spiritual growth among our members? And similarly for the other two points.
Although numerical growth seems a bit crass when put in a list like this, after all God’s more interested in transformed lives and relationships than numbers, I believe it’s healthy to question what sort of job we’re doing of carrying out the Great Commission. Sharing the Gospel needs to be one of our priorities as a church.
Particularly if your a visititor just browsing this site, I’d love for you to leave a brief comment sharing your thoughts on core values for God’s church.