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Course: Leading Healthy Church Culture
Lecture 18: Church Values Analysis
As we think about these five handles, what I would like to suggest in working with a group; there is a handout showing you a way to work through your current church values. This helps you to analyze what your current values are. As we have mentioned, those values will determine the products and practices and how your church culture looks. The simple questions are laid out; what do our leaders model and teach? As you think through this, you simply answer those questions. And then how do we allocate our scare resources. It is a simply question to ask but perhaps not to answer. What behaviors do we reward, what do we measure and how do our leaders respond to crisis. As you work through the answer to these questions. I would encourage an exercise to do that with the church leaders. As you work through those, you will begin to see as you answer these as a collective what values begin to emerge. What are the real values and you simply list those. You may find that they differ from those that are officially talked about. But the first step in using these handles is to analyze to determine what those values are.
It is a simple process but it takes time to work through. In groups that I have worked with, we have spent as much as two days on this process. It isn’t a small task but it is something that is hugely important to the local church. Once you have determined those actual values, then these five handles can become a strategy matrix. So, what do you wish for your church to value? You have what your church actually values, now what do you wish for your church to actually value. As you work through this, you simply fill in the blanks for the first value. Let’s say you want to value evangelism; people coming to church with lives being transformed by the power of Christ. The first question then is what will the leaders model and teach? How will they go about modeling and teaching that? Secondly, how are we going to allocate our scarce resources if we want that to be a value of our church? One such church said that they wanted to value prayer. In that, we worked through what behaviors we will reward and what will we measure? So, we become very specific about those as our values become part of our strategy. You will notice that in the analysis there are five handles and in the strategies there are four. We dropped the strategy of crisis because crisis just happens and you have to be prepared for it but you can’t plan. So, you determine what your values are that you want and I would suggest for any church, if you have more than five or six values that is too many. Think about the core of who you really are and what you are about and focus on those. If you work through this process faithfully; the first step is analysis and then determine where you want to go and what kind of a culture you want to reflect and then begin to apply these primary handles in that process. What will our leaders model and teach? How will we allocate scarce resources? What behaviors will we reward and what are we going to measure going forward.
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