One of the most important tasks of a church planter is making sure the wrong people don’t get into the right places. Many years ago when I planted my first church people would come to me and, immediately upon meeting me, they’d share all of their past church experience like a résumé: “I’ve done this and that, blah, blah, blah…”
As you plant a church, you need to help people understand what it means to follow Jesus based on the DNA you disciple into them. Obviously, this is harder with people who have previous church experience than with those who come to faith through your ministry.
Sometimes planters are so desperate for people to join their church that they embrace people who don’t share their values. It’s the same mistake an engaged person might make, “After we get married, I’ll change them.” And then they don’t change. Don’t bring people in knowing that they don’t share your values. You need agenda harmony.
“…any organization also needs a commitment to values and their constant reaffirmation, as a human body needs vitamins and minerals. There has to be something ‘this organization stands for,’ or else it degenerates into disorganization, confusion, and paralysis.” — Peter Drucker
What does your organization stand for? There’s your vision and mission statements of course, but if you asked a few random people within your organization what you stand for, what might they say? Family values? Bible knowledge? Experiences of the Holy Spirit? What really fires people up and gets them excited? What do they care about? What are they willing to work toward? The answers people give you to these tell you a lot about what your ministry organization really stands for.
Part of a series inspired by Peter Drucker, an important mentor of mine
“Every organization needs performance in three major areas: It needs direct results; building of values and their reaffirmation; and building and developing of people for tomorrow.” – Peter Drucker
What does this mean for the church? What do those three areas look like for us?
- direct results. The church does not exist just to exist—it exists for a greater purpose: to make disciples. That is the mission Jesus left us with. The direct result of the church is to make disciples.
This week I’m doing a five-part series to help you critically examine and sharpen your own ministry. The goal is to create a template that will allow you to serve as a consultant for your own ministry… a way of reflecting, assessing and clarifying where you are and where you want to go.
Today is step 2: values. Values answer the question: “Who are you?” They are the deeply held convictions, priorities, and underlying assumptions that influence your attitudes and behaviors… and consequently, those of your ministry. To identify your values, reflect and journal on the questions below.
Your ministry flows out of your values. Picture the whole church as a tree: the values are the roots. You can’t see them, but they are responsible for virtually everything that happens above ground. The roots produce the fruit. If the fruit is good, you assume the roots are healthy. If the leaves are diseased or dying, you can guess the problem lies deep in the roots.