Core values are principles and convictions that you have for both your life and your ministry. They are values focusing on the action that will occur and the behavior that will dominate and direct your journey.
Quite simply: “Values Require Action!”
The same thing should applied to churches, and whether they are written down or not, churches have core values. It is your church’s DNA that defines who your church is. Two thousand years ago, the first church in Acts 2:42-47 knew what their core values were and articulated them well: They “devoted themselves” to their values, and their actions reflected and defined them.
Luke McCown says, “Behavior always follows authentic belief.” In Acts 2, because they valued people and their needs, they were willing to sell their possessions to make sure that everyone’s needs were met. Their behavior followed what they said they believed.
In Acts 6 church leaders met to discuss how they valued elderly widows being ministered to but also valued the importance of prayer and the ministry of God’s word. So they developed a process where neither value was neglected. Once again their behavior followed what they said they believed!
Fast forward 2,000 years and let’s say a church believes strongly that every member should serve in a ministry.” Here’s how that belief should best be articulated: “We value aggressively seeking opportunities to use our God-given abilities to glorify God and serving with the church to carry out her mission.
“As members, we continually serve in our sponsored ministries for our growth and the growth of others. We value Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’”
My church’s three-pronged core values are “Worship, Grow, Serve.” Under each of these three verbs is a well-articulated explanation as to how each church member can accomplish each one. I am not just a pew-sitter. I am a minister.
Francis Chan puts it this way: “The pastor is not the minister. The pastor is the equipper; every member of the church is a minister.” If you struggle with that concept please check out Ephesians 4:11-12. Today’s churches have been described as looking more like a spectator sport where 95% of the people who desperately need exercise are watching the 5% who desperately need a rest.
There are many possible reasons more people are not accepting their responsibilities of serving in a ministry. Pastor Todd West lists these five ministry myths that help us understand and expose the truth.
Myth #1 – Only certain people are gifted to serve. (See 1 Corinthians 12:6-7.) The truth is that God has a place, a plan, and a purpose for every one of us. God is watching and he notices your worship. You have a voice he wants to hear, a heart he wants to know, and a life he wants to use.
Myth #2 – I just don’t have time. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13) The truth is that we make time for those things we really value. None of us has any more time than anybody else, but we will have more time if every member is doing their part and fulfilling God’s plan for them. Someone has said, “A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
Myth #3 – It is the pastor and staff’s job to minister to people. (See Ephesians 4:11-12 and 1 Peter 2:9) Spiritually mature Christians are not those who have all the answers but rather they are involved in the process of making disciples and developing leaders. The Great Commission involves us reproducing ourselves!
Myth #4 – It is better to not get too involved. (See Ephesians 3:21 and Ephesians 1:23.) If everyone pitches in it is doable. It is overwhelming when everyone is not pulling their own weight but expecting everyone else to do their work for them. We overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but we underestimate what can be accomplished in five years.
Myth #5 – What I do is not important. (See Ephesians 4:16.) If you think that you’re too small or unimportant to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room. You can make a difference, and Christ is working in you to equip you to accomplish his good work. Hebrews 13:21 says, “(May God) make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Healthy churches realize that they are not just a gathering place but an equipping center to train every member to be a minister and to accomplish God’s mission!
Copyright © 2020 by Larry Barker @ http://healthychurchpodcast.com. Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.