Pinehurst

Jesus’ Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs

As we are pursuing and praying through our Core Values, Bedrock Beliefs, Motivating Vision, and Key Mission a colleague asked the following question:

  • What are Jesus' Core Values?
  • What are Jesus' Bedrock Beliefs?
  • What is Jesus' Motivating Vision?
  • What is Jesus' Key Mission?
Our "coach" helped me remember why we are asking the question of or ourselves:

Now here we see the beginning of all Christian theology. There is a point
when the memory of the historical Jesus faded, and became reshaped and
recommunicated through the lives and perspectives and spiritual experiences of
the disciples. At some point, somebody asks these question … the whole history
of theology unfolds. How they answer these questions in Rome is somewhat
different from Antioch, or Alexandria, or Carthage, or Cleveland.

To what extent did the core values of Jesus reflect the behavioral
expectations of the Jewish community? The convictions of the Pharisees? The
political ideals of the Zealots? The insights of Socrates? The organizational
principles of Rome?

And yet, as diverse and complex as the answers to these questions might be,
it is incumbent upon Christian leader to answer them for me, for my context, for
this piece of God's mission that I lead. My values, beliefs, vision and mission
should reasonably and reliably align with Jesus. It is the essence of
"integrity".

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Church, Practices, Reflections

Angie Ward on Clues to Hidden Core Values

"9 Clues to Secret Core Values: More on discerning your church's hidden agenda" by Angie Ward, (Leadership Journal, February 28, 2005)

Thanks, and wow. Thank you to everyone who responded to my
previous column about hidden core values. Thanks for sharing your insights and
questions. It was a privilege to read about your stories and your struggles, and
I hope what follows will be of help on your leadership journey.

First, a quick review: Most churches these days have some sort
of mission or purpose statement. All churches, however, also have their own
internal culture, a set of shared attitudes, values, and beliefs that define
church and shape its practices. This deeply entrenched culture can be summarized
into an "ethos" statement which is almost never officially articulated, but is
nonetheless extremely powerful. Here are some (more) examples:

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Pinehurst

Core Values Tentative Report

Thanks to all who attended the Core Values Workshop (just over 60 attended the session).  The following were the word fields that we began to consense around at the close of our time together.  This is a work in progress and we will want to clarify and narrow our sense of each group of words.

  • Loving Church Family
  • Teaching
  • Fellowship
  • Singing
  • Worship
  • Trying New Things
  • Caring for Others
  • Caring for God
  • Valuing Others
  • Faith
  • Passion
  • Humility
  • Reaching Out
  • Discipleship
  • Learning
  • Using Our Gifts
  • Tolerance
  • Love
  • Replenishment

To derive this short list we asked persons to consider answering the following questions using a shortened list of 33 value words from Tom Bandy's Vision Discernment Workbook (a shortened form of Moving Off the Map).

Value Words:  productivity, strength, trying new things, using one's gifts, singing, teaching, thinking, worship, passion, reaching out, purpose-driven, purposefulness, tolerance, sensitivity, morality, valuing others, fellowship, harmony, loving church family, generous, replenishment, hope, faith, loved by God, caring for God, humility, caring for people, God's grace, love, peace, futuring, leading.

  1. What have you always found of value in the church?
  2. What do you personally admire most about any church?
  3. What do you love to do the most when attending church?
  4. What legacy do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?
  5. What do you most want to be remembered for at church?
  6. What value would you state would be found when PUMC reaches God's promised land?
Pinehurst

Core Values – Individual Answers

The following are summaries of individual answers to the following questions:

  1. What have you always found of value in the church?
  2. What do you personally admire most about any church?
  3. What do you love to do the most when attending church?
  4. What legacy do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?
  5. What do you most want to be remembered for at church?
  6. What value would you state would be found when PUMC reaches God's promised land?
Pinehurst

Core Values – Group Answers

The following are summaries of group answers to the following questions:

  1. What have you always found of value in the church?  caring for others (4), caring for people, faith (3), fellowship (9), fellowship/worship with other believers, God's grace (4), hope, love (2), loving church family (4), passion for teaching, replenishment (2), singing, teaching (2), worship (6), worship leading to accepting God's grace, using one's gifts, valuing others.

  2. What do you personally admire most about any church?  caring for God (2), caring for others, caring for people (4), faith (2), faith/passion, fellowship (2), following God's will, generous, hope (2), love, loving church family (4), mission, morality, reaching out (5), sharing God's grace (2), singing, teaching (2), teaching God's word, tolerance, trying new things, using one's gifts, worship (2).

  3. What do you love to do the most when attending church?  caring for God, fellowship (6), learning (3), learning about God, listening to music, preaching, reaching out, replenishment (5), singing (7), thinking (5), using one's gifts, valuing others, worship (5), worship/singing.

  4. What legacy do you want to leave your children and grandchildren?  caring for God (7), caring for people (5), faith (5), God's grace, humility (6), know they are loved by God (2), knowledge and love of God, morality (2), passion, purposefulness (2), peace, sensitivity, strength (2), tolerance (2), tolerance/ valuing others, valuing others (2).

  5. What do you most want to be remembered for at church?  caring, caring for God (4), caring for others, caring for people (5), faith (2), faithfulness, fellowship, generous (2), harmony, humility (2), love (2), morality, purpose-driven (2), reaching out to others (5), tolerance/harmony/sensitivity, using one's gifts (4), valuing others (5).

  6. What value would you state would be found when PUMC reaches God's Promised Land?  caring for God, caring for God's people, caring for others (2), caring for people, faith (2), God's grace (3), God's glory, grace, love, loved by God (2), loving church family (5), passion peace (3), purpose-driven (3), purposefulness (2), reaching out (2), tolerance, valuing others, using one's gifts.

Overall the following core values were lifted up. 

Alphabetical order: caring, caring for God (15), caring for God's people, caring for others (8), caring for people (16), faith (13), faith/passion, faithfulness, fellowship (18), fellowship/worship with other believers, following God's will, generous (3), God's glory, God's grace (8), grace, harmony, hope (2), humility (8), know they are loved by God (4), knowledge and love of God, learning (3), learning about God, listening to music, love (6), loving church family (13), mission, morality (4), passion (2), passion for teaching, peace (4), purpose-driven (5), purposefulness (4), reaching out (8), reaching out to others (5), replenishment (7), sensitivity, sharing God's grace (2), singing (9), strength (2), teaching (5), teaching God's word, thinking (5), tolerance (4), tolerance/valuing others, tolerance/harmony/sensitivity, trying new things, worship (8), worship leading to accepting God's grace, using one's gifts (8), valuing others (10), worship (5), worship/singing.

Incidence of Recurrence Orderfellowship (18), caring for people (16), caring for God (15), faith
(13),
loving church family (13),
valuing others
(10),
singing (9), caring for others (8), God's grace (8), humility (8), reaching out (8), worship (8), using one's gifts (8), replenishment (7), love (6), purpose-driven (5), reaching out
to others (5),
teaching (5), thinking
(5),
worship (5), know they are
loved by God (4),
morality (4), peace (4),
purposefulness (4), tolerance (4), generous (3), learning (3), hope (2), passion (2), sharing God's grace (2),
strength (2), caring, caring
for God's people, faith/passion, faithfulness, fellowship/worship
with other believers, following God's will, God's glory,
grace, harmony, knowledge and love of God, learning
about God, listening to music, mission, passion for teaching, sensitivity, teaching God's word, tolerance/valuing others,
tolerance/harmony/sensitivity, trying new things, worship
leading to accepting God's grace, worship/singing.

The work of the visioning team will be to begin forming word groupings and seek clarity on ambiguous terms.  We will then carry those to various formal and informal groups for reflection and interpretation.

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Church, Practices, Reflections

Angie Ward on Discerning Hidden Core Values

Every living body – individual or corporate – lives out of values.  Often times these values are not explicitly stated.  In the church not stating these values makes it difficult for new members of the body to find their place.  Their DNA can seem imcompatible with the body's DNA.  In human bodies this leads to rejection … could it mean the same for the church?  As we move through our visioning process in the coming months this is the God-prompt that pushes me … what is our DNA (what are the core values and beliefs we hold dear)?  Read how Angie Ward describes another situation and see if any of it looks familiar to you? (WAB).

"Discerning Your Church's Hidden Core Values: It's the unstated, underlying purpose that really drives a church" by Angie Ward, Leadership Journal (January 17, 2005).

A lot has been written lately about the church and culture; most of it, however, refers to the culture around a church. Just as important is the culture within a church, the shared attitudes, values, and beliefs that define a church and shape its practices.

Fresh out of seminary, my husband and I began ministry at an established, 850-member church in a large city. During the interview process, we were impressed by the church's forward-thinking mission and values, and we were excited to join such an apparently dynamic ministry. As time passed, however, it became clear that there was far more bark than bite at that church, missionally speaking.

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