What’s in a Value Statement?

Understanding our core values can be beneficial in our personal lives. In our last post, we discussed the importance and definition of core values. In this article, I will describe a process I use to assist individuals and churches in discovering their core values and writing value statements. (Individuals wanting to unearth their core values will be able to eliminate the middle steps and move to writing value statements.)

First, I open with some discussion about core values, what they are and how we operate out of our values. (see previous post)

After describing core values and how they are manifested through our actions and speech, each person is given 3 blank post-it notes and an ink pen. I then ask each person in the room to list three of his/her individual core values on the post-it notes (one core value on each post-it).

Each person is instructed to bring his/her post-it notes to a focal wall at or near the front of the room. At this point we can see what drives the people in our church to act and speak as he/she does.

So far it is all about the individual and each person’s core values. This is the pool of core values from which our church core values will come. Since core values are manifested through our words and actions, we cannot write a separate set of values for the church. They must come from the pool of core values of our members.

At this point in my meeting with the church, I have 3-4 church leaders group the post it notes by value listed. All the post its with integrity is placed in a vertical line together. Each one with love or compassion is lined together, and so on with all values listed on the post-its.

Each person is then given 3 dot stickers (small dots from any office supply store). The instructions are to come forward to the wall of values and place the three stickers on three different values (using only the 5-7 most frequently listed values). This time instead of individual values, each person will place the stickers on what he/she perceives to be a value of the church as a whole – why the church acts as it does.

Following this meeting a pre-determined group will take the post-its with dots in place, and other information gathered at the meeting. This group is tasked with prayerfully considering these values and writing value statements for the core values of the church. My instructions to this team is each value statement must have a value word, an action word or phrase, and must be directly related to scripture.

The value word tells what the church values so deeply. The action word describes how we as a church act and speak. Finally, they must reference at least one scripture verse/passage relating to this value.

For more information on discovering core values or having George lead your church through this process, contact George Yates.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Church Health Strategist assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose in life. Visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries online and see the leadership resources available.