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Core Values...

If vision is where we are going and mission is how we are going to get there, our core values are who we are. A community’s core values connect us back to our vision, energizing us for our mission; “this is what we do, because this is who we are.” These are the principles that we as a community are unwilling to compromise on. The core values are points which the leaders of the local church can rally their congregations’ culture and identity around. Jim Ladoux of Vibrant Faith Ministries suggests that leaders use the core values of their communities to build a “common vocabulary” for their churches to operate inside of.[1]

Once a community has locked down their core values they must be integrated into the life of the congregation. This can be accomplished in blatant and on-the-nose means such as reciting them together when the congregation gathers.[2] Leaders can also engage in more subtle identity-forming ways of leading congregations into a common vocabulary based on the church’s core values. One of the ways this can be done is from the pulpit. Another way to cultivate these values is for the leadership to call out instances of their implementation as praiseworthy.[3]

[1] Ladoux, Jim, Surface to Soul: Coaching Spiritual Vitality in Congregations, Minneapolis, MN: Vibrant Faith Publications, 2012, 65.

[2] Ibid., 65-6.

[3] McSwain, Larry L, The Calling of Congregational Leadership: Being, Knowing, Doing Ministry, St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2013, 156-7.

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