Core Values are the foundation of a church’s identity and the measure for its ministry. They are the non-negotiables that shape your vision and determine your strategy. Core values should be simply expressed and passionately embraced.
And core values need to be shared.
The Church of God of Landisville, that I had the privilege to lead for 11 years, expressed their core values in this way:
The Church of God of Landisville Core Values:
Core values are the absolutes that guide and govern our ministry.
• The Authority of the Bible as God’s Word
• God’s view of human life in which all people matter
• Evangelism that calls people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
• Worship that brings people into Christ’s presence
• Sacrificial servant-hood
• Spiritual growth that is intentional and disciplined
• All believers using their spiritual gifts to demonstrate God’s Love
• Unity that is true to the Word of God
• Kingdom-focused ministry
What do we mean by “shared.” Simply put, the people of the church (not just the staff and leaders) are committed to those values, as well.
Why is this important? Values determine our behaviors. For our churches to be fruitful and faithful for the Kingdom, we need to behave in a manner that is consistent with the core values of the Kingdom. But a church where only the leaders are committed to these values will always be pulled between the desires of the people and the Will of God. And if the church in general does not share these values, then new leaders coming from the church will have to “won” to the vision that those values create.
Churches should periodically revisit those core values (1) to be sure that those values are embraced (2) to be sure those values enable the church to do the ministry it is called to do (3) to educate the Body at the large in those values.
– Steve Dunn