One of the products of the last several months of groundwork and planning has been the initial development of our identity as a church. Mission, vision, values — this is the language of identity.
To a certain extent, much of the groundwork we’ve done is tentative. As the church grows and comes to life more fully it will give body and character to much of the initial dreaming and articulation we’ve done. We’re prepared to adapt (adaptation, in fact, is part of our values set).
When I look at our values I think of time spent in the Mission Alive Strategy Lab nearly two years ago, hours spent in front of a whiteboard with Ryan, Claudia and Julie, searching the Scriptures, conversations with mentors, coaches and other church planters, and even asking our Dallas friends and neighbors what they thought. These values have been a community project.
What you’ll see below is our take on the whole mission/vision/values task. You’ll notice that it’s not much. Part of our bias in developing this kind of thing is that less is more. What is the use in crafting this language if it will sit in a document somewhere on our computers and never be used? We wanted our values to be simple and memorable. Our values sum up what we’re all about.
These values will be our roadmap for future decisions. They’ll be the way we organize our job descriptions as the staff grows. Even our children’s ministry will find its place living out these very same values.
Ultimately, all of our values flow out of the story of God as Father, Son and Spirit that we find in the Christian Scriptures.
You’ll notice that each heading is one of our major values; underneath the headings are sub-values, if you will, or further explanation as to how the major values come to life in our community. Accompanying each value is a short statement that brings the value down to earth. When people ask “What are you guys about?” we’ll say, “We’re people that live for something bigger than ourselves” or “Storyline is a church where you can make real friends.”
Here’s an excerpt from material published on the website (which will be fully up and running next week…hopefully that will be the next blog post!):
Storyline Christian Community lives to discover its place in God’s story through dependence on God, mission, life change and genuine relationships.
Dependence on God — God manages our lives better than we can.
- Trust: The best way to live is in a trusting relationship with God
Mission — We live for something bigger than ourselves.
- Reproduction: followers make new followers and churches make new churches
- Hospitality: extending a warm welcome to strangers
- Justice: befriending the poor; helping the helpless; caring for the earth
- Adaptability: the courage to create new things and the willingness to adapt
Life Change — God is fixing us.
- Character: thinking, acting and feeling like Jesus
- Expression: reflecting God’s image with our unique gifts and abilities
- Generosity: extending our resources — time, money, abilities — on behalf of others
- Simplicity: finding more in less
Genuine Relationships — We make real friends.
- Authenticity: being real about who I am with others
- Acceptance: embracing people as they are without judgment
- Collaboration: working together where everyone has something to contribute
What do you think? What do you like? What feedback would you give? Again, we’re all about adaptation.