This may seem like an odd post…given the fact I’m not currently employed by a church. But this is the type of thing I frequently think about and plan for. As one that constantly thinks about church leadership, vision, direction and church staffing, I’ve come to realize that every church staff needs its own set of working values. These might be different from the publicly-stated church-wide values and might not be heavily publicized beyond the church’s own internal communication methods. But they’re just as important nonetheless.
A church staff (whether two people or two hundred) needs to understand and adhere to a set of values that help to guide, direct and mitigate the challenges that are faced along the difficult road of ministry. They can be used as a way-marker and should influence how we work with and treat each other. They help to keep our bearing and remind us of our ultimate purpose. Values encourage us to stick to that which is most important…our beliefs, and morals and principles.
There are a lot of good “Church Values” that have been written by large and famous churches over the last decade. In addition, many businesses and corporations have “corporate values” in which they promote and train their staff on. Often times these are values such as honesty, integrity, respect, inclusion, communication, commitment, etc. I’ve studied many of them and most seem to be descriptions of how we should be living life anyway. They’re generally basic standards that we should be living daily, both in the workplace and at home. Also, they’re typically…boring…and nondescript. Who wants that? And how does that motivate people to adhere to them?
So I decided to come up with my own…for a future time to implement.
But in order to adhere to my own value of “learn from others, copy nobody” I decided that I needed to write my own and add some of my own personal finesse and explanation. I’ve tried to make them simple, actionable, and purposeful. Some have multiple meanings and hopefully provoke a bit of thought. Perhaps I will be able to implement these soon in a church that I begin to work for…
Church Staff Values
-Grace will pervade our words and actions. (Hebrews 4:16, John 1:16)
-We will live out loud with honesty and do everything with integrity. (Philippians 4:8)
-We will be family…and family comes first. (1 Timothy 3:5, John 15:12-17, Ephesians 5:21)
-We will challenge with curiosity, debate with pure motives, and invest in each other. We will laugh with each other and cry with our families…but mostly laugh. (Galatians 6:10, Philippians 2:4)
-We will constantly improve ourselves, our relationships, our work methods, and how we present the Gospel of Christ. We will be creative, inventive and oddly unique. (Philippians 4:13)
Do Hard Things
-We will be courageous in our faith, we will try new things, and we will risk big. We will work hard, pray harder, and might fail often. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 112:7)
Plan in Pencil
-We will make plans, see what happens, and then adjust accordingly. (Habakkuk 2:1-3, Luke 14:28, Proverbs 19:21)
-We will do everything and make every decision as if it will be on the nightly news. There will be no surprises. (2 Corinthians 8:21, Hebrews 13:18)
-We will make everything as simple as possible, and no simpler. We will make faith simple and our processes simpler. (Acts 15:19, Exodus 35:31-32)
-We will lead and develop. We will deploy and recruit. Both will be with humility and a desire to work, learn and grow together. (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Timothy 4:12, Mark 10:42-45, Exodus 18:21)
-We will act on behalf of the entire church, beyond just our own team or department. We are part of something greater than our immediate jobs…we are part of the big “C” Church. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 1 Corinthians 12:20-25)
I was hoping to have fewer than ten values so they were easy to remember, but I landed on eleven. And that doesn’t include the bonus value of “Finding the answer is more important than knowing the answer!” I’m just not sure where to put that one…but I love the phrase and meaning behind it.
Whether it is with these specific values or others that are similar, I believe that communicating and adhering to a set of values for all the staff to follow can create a better and more productive work environment for everyone involved. I hope to be able to implement these soon!
So what do you think? What would you add or remove or change from these staff values for your own church or workplace?