In his coaching, Will Mancini asks churches to think of a river, water coursing powerfully and with great momentum. Now take the banks off the sides of that river and what do you have? A puddle. It may be a big puddle, but it’s a puddle. No direction, no movement, no momentum.
A church without clear values is a puddle. But clarity on values provides boundaries for decision-making and action and investment of time, and it creates direction, movement, and momentum.
Values define good decision making, and that’s critical. If your church struggles to decide what to do and what not to do, that’s probably a values issue. If your church struggles to determine where to best invest time and resources, that’s probably a values issue. Values define good decision-making.
And not just for today. When our staff went through the process of defining our values, one of the scenarios we imagined was to imagine a future staff of Verve. This future staff, of course, had robots serving them coffee and flew around with jet packs, but they also had decisions to make. What would guide their decision-making? How could present staff (even with our lack of robots and jet packs) help future staff stay true to the original vision God had for our church? By giving them clear values that define our distinctiveness.
Why don’t you do some time travelling of your own? What must always remain true about your church? What are the borders you want to place around decision-making to give you direction, movement, and momentum that will propel you into the future, and keep you faithful in the future?