October 28, 2009
VALUES - PART 3 - CORPORATE VALUES
Well, "a big snow storm is moving in"...and who knows what's going to happen to the hours just ahead. So here is a pre-blizzard blog. (The next entry will be November 4 - after Jackie and I return from a Chi Alpha/Campus Ministries trip to California.)
Incidentally, in the last two days, this site has been hit almost 60 times.
Hey everybody.....your zeal and commitment in this is wonderfully heartening to me.!
You're going to keep me going, and going, and going..... :)
(Actually....more and more I sense God's Presence in all of this and I feel in the process I am actually discovering an important part of myself for this season of life.)
...and now, back again, to stuff about Corporate Values.
The Seven Corporate Values that served us so well were/are:
Creedal unity of faith anchors our fellowship together. (See last Blog)
Interdependence with other churches of like faith is valued over independence competition, and absolute congregational sovereignty.
*Always seeking to be a unifying presence wherever we went.
*No pride trips privately or publicly.
*Instead, humility of heart and action...and looking out for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ....and the community at large.
*Staying with the creedal, bullseye, (see last blog) unless the relationship is far enough along to begin little debates...:)..."speaking the truth in love" and growing in Christ.
Lengthy times of both worship and teaching are essential in the formation of a people of God - as against - brief and culturally-bound programs.
*At the start, our services would go nearly 2 hours.
*No pigeonholed piety...or conveyor belt Christianity.
*As we grew, into the hundreds of people and multiple services, even then, we refused to push worship and teaching into smaller and smaller boxes. We kept having a strong offering of christian ed stuff...and leadership development stuff.
*Worship, we discovered, enters the realm of reality best when there is time for everyone to catch up in spirit, when there are non-structured moments, time to "be still" together, and time for the Spirit to breath His unique dimensions of life into the gatherings.
Informality, approachability and creativity are valued
over formality, propriety (got a dictionary?), distance and predictability.
*Chairs in arked formations....staff seated with the congregation....no one seated on a platform....time to linger after with one another and talk and pray.
*Staff mixing freely with people all day vv programmed into move faster and faster
*Almost as much space in the foyer as in the auditorium - with coffee ++
*Lots of people late coming into worship because of so many in the foyer?..could be sign of revival!
Volunteerism and wide participation (even by the "untested") is valued
over professionalism, spectatorism, and hiring for ministry.
*Our first staff hire was a family life coordinator....who wrote activities for families to learn together each week and helped us with our parenting and spiritual leadership with the very young. Children and the young do need special care. (That first staff person is now one of the city's best educators.)
*But, we refused to go pro with much else...weighing in on the end of trusting the Spirit with His choices and gifting.....and we conciously chose to go with less quality and more reality and accessability
Pastorally overseen spiritual gift expression and (often) consequent ministry development and formation is valued above top-down program construction, recruitment and slick organization.
*Every Sunday (virtually) was a time for listening and responding to the Spirit's prompts.
*Time and a clear and orderly process was allowed to facilitate naturally freedom with order.
As that came into place, we found that some people drove up to 50 miles (one way), because they sensed their lives so addressed by the Spirit of God.
(This is a whole other process which we will hopefully get to address here at some point. If you can't wait call 719-339-7746)
Personal uniqueness and freely chosen commitments are valued and to be protected from the natural pressures of corporate institutionalization. We will seek to stay as clear as possible from overt or covert manipulation.
*"What I sense God is calling me to do," must be kept ahead of "what we need you to do is."
* What are your gifts and joys?, where do you sense God's presence in your life? - ahead of - going on and on with a fading sense of purpose, and non-fruitful ministries perpetuated, thus "you must."
(This led us at times to stop ministries, just not start them, and feel affirmation and peace when a long-term leader said "enough for now:")
* It also led us to stumble into letting things be experimented with "that just might be God."
And now beginneth the practice.
Remember, Values are only of value (sorry!) if they are kept before a church as living ideas.
This can be done we found, if they are put in written form with occasional bulletin insert or handout.
They are only of value if the pastor/leaders take them in hand and periodically ask the hard questions - where are they clearly in play in what we are actually deciding and doing?
So what are the actual values of your fellowhip right now?
And what is reading this blog and listening to the Spirit pushing you towards?
Hope you engage seriously in these questions as a christian leader.
And that you will sense as you do that you are being led in the process to fresh life and strength.
May your values be His....and may every bit of your energy be focused well.
Feedback welcomed. firstname.lastname@example.org
See you again on the 4th.