The Problem with Values

Starting this Sunday at C3, we are going to begins a series of messages on our church’s values.  At C3, our values are the core behaviors we ask each mission partner to embrace.  Our mission is the heart.  We want to guide everyone in a growing relationship with Jesus.  Our vision is the eyes.  Raise the BAR, our current 5 year vision, looks into the future and sees what our church will accomplish.

However, there is a danger in values.  I have been prayerfully walking through some fears I have in starting this series.  Values have the potential to bring some real pain into the life of our church.  Why?  Well, why have values unless you are going to do them?  And actually doing the values can bring pain in two ways.  First, we can the feel the pain because we have to say no to a lot good stuff so we can embrace the best our values offer.  That is much easier said than done.  It also sets up the leadership for scrutiny.  If the leadership violates the values then the they are up to severe criticism.  One of the jobs of a leader is to do what he says he will how he said he would do it.

In the past our values have been aspirational.  Meaning the values are listed as something that’s nice to have in the future.  During this series of messages, we are hoping to make a shift from aspirational values to authentic values.  Meaning they become the cultural touchstones that make our church unique in this community (and thus reach people other churches are not reaching).  This will not happen overnight, but we do know where it begins: education.  We need to know what the values are and what they mean for us.  I am looking forward to this series but I see the potential for some growing pains.  I’m excited to see God will use initiative this to unite us for the mission he created us to accomplish but I am also prayfully asking God to watch over us.

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