Values drive us. What we value determines how we think and what we do. If you value time with your family, it is probably because you think that it will bring about certain benefits to you and the family unit. Valuing time with your family ultimately leads to you spending more and more time with your family. Values drive us, therefore, it is important to know and think carefully about what are the key values that you subscribe to – what are you driving towards?
Equally as important is to understand what your mission or goal is. From non-profit organizations, like Big Brothers Big Sisters, to us as individuals, knowing and living out the mission is vital. For believers, our mission statement can be summed up in 2 Cor. 5:9 which says, “We make it our goal to be pleasing to him.” There is a lot that falls under that verse, but if you don’t have that verse at the top (to live a life that is pleasing to God) then you are going to get a lot wrong as a person. For organizations, ensuring that mission drift doesn’t happen is key to effectiveness.
As a congregation, Faith Church has five key values that are played out each and every day under the mission of the church. Knowing these key sets of information is not just mere consumption of facts but should be something that is reviewed and known by not only the leaders of the church but by all members.
In case you don’t remember, the mission of Faith Church is “to glorify God by winning people to Jesus Christ and equipping them to be more faithful disciples.” Under that then, there are five core values that we seek to build into everything we do:
- Growing Stronger
- Reaching Out
- Serving Together
- Meeting Needs
- Strengthening Others
When you look at all that we do as a congregation, these five values guide and shape our purpose. It is the reason that we do things like Faith Community Institute (FCI), Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) small groups, etc. — because we are trying to grow stronger. We value strengthening others, so we take our counseling training ministry and travel around the country, and the world. Reaching out is something that is very important; it is why the church built three community centers so that it may better express love and a desire to know the members of the Lafayette community. Our values drive us.
Within organizations (say churches, non-profits, and even families) you can determine a unique set of values for individual respective members. For example, within a family, the core value system is shared, but the parental set of values is unique to their role which is driven by their unique mission. Their mission of course looks and functions differently than that of the children (even the parental values for Mother and Father, though equal in benefit to the effectiveness of the unit, will be different). For Faith Church, the community ministries has its own unique mission statement, “to meet community needs with compassion, truth, and hope”, and in order to accomplish this mission it must have its own unique set of values separate from the core. That doesn’t negate the values of the parent organization, rather it flows out of and strengthens the effectiveness of Faith Church as a whole.
At Faith Church West, and as a community, we have sought to place certain values at the center of what we are trying to accomplish. Our values at Faith Church West don’t conflict with the values of Faith Church, but rather they are defined and accomplished in order to build up, live out, and support the mission and values of our larger family, Faith Church. This blog series seeks to contextually define and develop the four key values of Faith Church West. The posts to follow in this series will examine why these values were chosen, what scripture has to say about these values, and how these values can and should be lived out (not only on Sundays, but every day of the week). These values are:
- Safe Place – having a place where you can talk about your sin and growth and not feel that you need to worry about being judged
- Nobody Alone – encouraging ourselves to take part in the community and foster long-term relationships
- Relationships are not Efficient on Their Own – being reminded that community living takes work and it can be hard, but that work is worth it
- Intimate Church – feeling the love and warmth of family; wanting to live out being a family, every week.
Historically, these values have been the focus of the Core Leadership Team Meeting (Sundays at 8:45 in the Purdue Bible Fellowship, PBF, room.) As leaders, we have sought to live out and teach these values in our ministries. If you have attended Faith Church West, we hope that you have experienced these values first hand.
As you read the coming posts, I hope that you will grow in your understanding of the philosophy of ministry at Faith Church West, but also that you seek and continue to implement these in your life (and on Sunday morning in particular). If you do not attend Faith Church West, then hopefully understanding and studying these values will help you as you seek to do ministry in the context of the local church.
Please join us again for the next post in this series as we talk about the first Core Value at Faith Church West—Safe Place.