Whether you work in ministry or the marketplace, you’re likely familiar with organizations following a set of values.
Values help define who we are, and who we are determines what we do. At VOUS, we have seven values that explain who we are and help establish our culture as a church (you can read more on that here). We’re loud and proud about what we value and find any opportunity we can to share our values with our servant leaders. We highlight a value in each team rally, share them in every team playbook, and include them in our creative designs.
In addition to these church-wide values, we have seven staff values. These are not our own thoughts or ideas; we see these values modeled by Jesus. In Ephesians, Paul mentions a handful of times that we are united with Christ. We are one with whatever and whoever we are united to — there’s no division or separation in unification. Being united with Christ means that our lives directly reflect his. We must value what Jesus values.
If we want to build a church that represents Jesus, we have to be leaders earnestly seeking to live like Jesus. Our staff values anchor our core team to scripture and help us live biblically-sound lives.
Each one is introduced with a question to prompt reflection, then continues with the personal responsibility the value requires. They are intentionally written in the first-person perspective to foster a sense of ownership; as we internalize and embrace these values, they organically shape our leadership style, interactions, and how we serve others.
Take a few minutes to read through them.
1. MAKE IT BETTER
What am I doing personally to help us improve organizationally? My role, no matter the job description, is to make the organization better. I won’t do tomorrow what I can do today. I choose to put my full weight down. Imitate. Innovate. Evaluate. Repeat.
2. TAKE IT PERSONALLY
How am I personally engaged in our mission and vision? How am I putting into practice that which I am encouraging others to participate in? We can’t ask people to do that which we are unwilling to do. We lead, but we also participate. We are not just church leaders, we are members of the body. Serving, giving, Crews, Growth Track, the fundamentals of our organization are championed by the team wholeheartedly. This is who we are. We are the Church. Think. Be. Do.
3. WORK TOGETHER
Where am I leveraging the talents and skills of those outside my primary team? I’m not too proud to ask for help, and I’m not too busy to be of help. I will inspect what I expect. Collaboration is valued in all aspects of ministry. There are no one-man bands at VOUS Church. God is honored in our unity. We seek to honor God by our collaboration in every aspect of his church.
4. REPLACE YOURSELF
Who am I empowering today? It’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about involving as many people as you can. If you can replace yourself, you’ll always have a place. Leaders who attract leaders are the leaders you can’t afford to lose. You can’t fill anyone’s cup, but you can empty yours. If you aren’t bringing someone along and teaching them how to do what you are doing, you aren’t leading. We aren’t doers, we are leaders. We are intentionally creating and communicating a pathway of growth and purpose for others.
5. STAY FIT
How am I taking care of myself spiritually, physically, relationally, financially, and emotionally? We take responsibility for our own health. No excuses. Nobody owes me anything, Jesus gave me everything. Our personal lives come to work with us. (Your marriage, body, frustrations, come to work with you.) I can make a personal decision that negatively impacts the organization and my coworkers. Our attitude is not dictated by the weather, we carry our own weather. We choose to be here. We are thankful for community.
6. REMAIN FLEXIBLE
How do I manage the tension triggered by new ideas, innovation, and change? God gives you the “what” before he gives you the “how.” We are not intimidated by a big vision. We run toward God dreams and put our faith in action. Everyone is up for change until something changes. Change brings tension. In order to be flexible, you have to constantly stretch. We embrace the stretch and the tension that change brings. We are not defensive or protective. We are called to the “house,” not a “room.” We are committed to the big picture.
7. CELEBRATE CONSTANTLY
Am I finding something or someone to celebrate today? Gratitude brings joy and joy brings strength. We make it an organizational focus to celebrate the journey every step of the way. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are committed to learn to laugh and have a sense of humor. Celebrate others’ success. We like to party (with a purpose) at VOUS. We make hard work look fun.
As leaders, it’s essential to recognize that even with great values in place, we won’t always hit the mark. But the beauty of it all is the abundant grace for our shortcomings. We can rest in the truth that God is faithful to sustain and finish what he starts. Wherever you find yourself, we hope this helps inform and inspire values for your teams, your organization, your home, your life.