Here is the teaching outline for the seminar presented at the 2006 FCA International Convention in Monterrey, Mexico. Dennis Sawyer is the now-retired pastor of Church by the Side of the Road in Tukwila, Washington.

__A. Since the 1990s, Vision and Change have been the driving forces in both the corporate world and the church.
__B. However, in casting vision and promoting vision and dealing with change, both the corporate world and the church have been forced to stop and identify their own core values.
__C. Hence, Core Values have become the driving theme of our current decade.

__A. What you believe determines your behavior.
__B. What you value has a huge affect upon how you live your life.
__C. If you have only one open appointment on your calendar, and five people want it (head of the men’s ministry, a stranger off the street, a faithful but uninvolved tither, her husband who has never contacted you before, your spouse), who gets the appointment?
__D. A great starting point for exploring this concept would be the Yellow Pages of any metropolitan area under the listing of church. Here are some from my phonebook:
____1. Standing firmly on the King James Bible
____2. Celebrating Jesus Christ the traditional Anglican way
____3. Helping people discover, trust and love Jesus Christ
____4. KJV-Fundamental-Soul Winning
____5. A growing community of friends
____6. Our faith extends beyond our sacred space
____7. Building a joy-filled community of faith
____8. A welcoming community invites you to join us for high liturgy and glorious music in a relaxed friendly environment
____9. A place of new beginnings
___10. A Spirit-filled fellowship
___11. Making Christ known-growing in grace
___12. A church where the whole family can go a place where the whole family can grow
__E. Core values, realized or unrealized, public or private, affect our individual and group:
____1. Decision making
____2. Risk taking
____3. Goal setting
____4. Conflict resolution
____5. Problem solving
____6. Priorities determination
____7. Roles clarification
____8. Team Building
____9. Financial management
___10. Resource utilization
__F. Core values dictate personal involvement.
____1. Studies have shown that where there are strongly shared values in an organization they:
______a) Foster strong feelings of personal effectiveness
______b) Foster strong feelings of personal fulfillment
______c) Encourage ethical behavior
______d) Promote high levels of loyalty and commitment
______e) Promote productivity and caring
______f) Preserve energy
______g) Facility consensus
______h) Create synergism
______i) Reduce stress and tension
______j) Reduce costs
____2. The more similar your core values, the easier your team works together.
__G. Values determine ministry distinctives.
____1. This is what we stand for.
____2. This is what we are all about.
____3. This is who we are.
____4. This is what we can do for you.
__H. Differing core values can create an adversarial relationship.

__A. Seven criteria of a good value
____1. It is biblical
____2. Engenders passion
____3. Shared with others
____4. Constant
____5. Can be expressed clearly
____6. Is congruent with your other values
____7. Can be implemented
__B. The Book of Acts clearly identifies the core values of the early church, Acts 2:42-47
____1. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
____2. Fellowship
____3. Breaking of bread
____4. Prayer
____5. Togetherness
____6. Giving to those in need
____7. Daily temple court meetings
____8. Home meetings
____9. Praise
___10. Evangelism
__C. There is a difference between Aspirational Values and Actual Values.
__D. There are personal values and ministry values; these must line up with the leader’s values.
__E. Leaders have a set of core values that influence all they do.
__F. Organizations have a set of core values that guide what they seek to accomplish. Some examples:
____1. Status quo
____2. Missions
____3. Excellence
____4. Correct theology
__G. According to author Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church said, “Twenty-first-century leaders will not lead by the authority of their position but by an ability to articulate a vision and the core values of their organization or congregation.”
__H. I would add to that, “live and articulate.”

__A. Within any group, there are many values:
____1. Conscious and unconscious
____2. Shared and unshared
____3. Personal and organizational
____4. Actual and aspirational
____5. Single and multiple
____6. Congruent and incongruent
__B. Your core values are what you own and act upon daily.
__C. Core values answer the question “Why do we do what we do?”
__D. Whether you are an individual or a group, you will live your core values, so look carefully at what you do.
____1. The immediate question is not, “What values or beliefs should we adopt?”
____2. The important question is “What values or beliefs have we already adopted?”
__E. Twenty-first century citizens demand that you are saying and living the same thing.

__A. For Christians, Para-church ministries and Churches,
____1. Values Are:
______a) Constant
______b) Passionate
______c) Biblical
______d) Core Beliefs
____2. Values are not:
______a) Vision
______b) Principles
______c) Strategies
______d) Doctrinal Statements
__B. In my opinion, the process of developing your core values is as important as documenting those values.
__C. Most established but waning churches will resist what they need most, which is a complete or partial transition from one set of values to another.
__D. At a time like that, you need to ask some very difficult questions.
____1. What are our current values?
____2. What should be this church’s values?
____3. What values are missing?
____4. Can this church make that kind of transition?
____5. Who could best lead this church through this kind of transition?

__A. This is what moves your values from paper to people.
____1. From theory to paper
____2. From paper to people
____3. From people to reality

__B. Clearly identified core values provide a sense of identity, stability, direction and boundaries.

__C. When people walk through the church’s front door clearly understanding both their own and the church’s values, it promotes their assimilation, closing the church’s back door.
____1. I appreciate the church that clearly presents its core values in the …
______a) Foyer
______b) Visitors Packet
______c) Visitor’s letter
______d) Pulpit
____2. Example, Verbal, Visual, Written

__D. The most important thing about core values is to live them.
____1. 1 Cor 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
____2. 1 Tim 4:12 …set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity

__E. Live your values, speak your values, promote your values.

__A. Leaders must discover and articulate their core values.
__B. Leaders must make sure that their own personal core values match their organization’s core values.
__C. Leaders are responsible to make sure that a church’s core values transcend the current leadership.

__A. The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is a strong sign of maturity.
__B. Success = accomplishing a vision without sacrificing core values.


Appendix – Core Values Audit

Directions: Rate each of the core values below from 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest

_____ Godly servant leadership
_____ A well-mobilized lay ministry
_____ Bible-centered preaching / teaching
_____ The poor and disenfranchised
_____ Creativity and innovation
_____ World Missions
_____ People matter to God
_____ An attractive facility
_____ Financial responsibility
_____ The status quo
_____ Welcoming visitors
_____ Cultural relevance
_____ Intercessory prayer
_____ Sustained excellence / quality
_____ Fellowship / Community
_____ Evangelism
_____ Strong families
_____ A grace-orientation to life
_____ Praise and worship
_____ A Christian self-image
_____ Social justice
_____ Committed Christians (discipleship)
_____ Giving / tithing
_____ Counseling
_____ Civil rights
_____ Christian education (all ages)
_____ The ordinances
_____ Equal rights
_____ Other: _____________________

Write down all the core values – but no more than 12 – that received a rating of 4 or 5. Rank these according to priority by placing the number 1 in front of the highest, 2 in front of the next highest, and so on.

From Values-Driven Leadership by Aubrey Malphus (Baker, 1996), Appendix D, pp. 185-186


Core Values of Church By the Side of the Road

(Approved on February 22, 2005)

A family of believers drawing others to Jesus through His Word, and our example.

Because we believe that every believer has been gifted by God and has been called to serve as a valued member of the Body of Christ, we offer the following Mission Statement, hoping that it will assist you in knowing what we value and perhaps better prepare you to serve Him in our midst.

We believe that each congregation is uniquely gifted, called, and guided by our Lord to serve Him. Believing that He has guided us in writing this Mission Statement, we will endeavor to evaluate all our ministry accordingly.

We have chosen Philemon 4-6 as a scripture that embodies what we believe the Lord has placed foremost in our heart(s).

“I always thank God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

In order to “refresh the hearts of the saints,” and fulfill the mandates of scripture, we will purposefully gather regularly as a congregation to worship, pray, study God’s Word and minister one to another.

It is our goal to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ in such a way that individuals and families are gathered into healthy and fulfilling relationships that bring glory to Jesus Christ. With Jesus Christ as our Head, and the Holy Bible as our guide, we will yield ourselves and our resources to reach the unreached for Christ. While working together and reflecting His love, we will endeavor to enfold, encourage, instruct, equip, and release His people into service for His glory.

In order to accomplish what we have stated, we must adhere to certain values and give them priority in all areas of church life and ministry.

We value the Bible and seek to live and teach its truths.

We value the Church as God’s chosen instrument through which He demonstrates His love to the world.

We value Praise and Worship because God is worthy.

We value Prayer and seek to incorporate it into all areas of church life.

We value the Gospel of Jesus Christ as central in all expressions of ministry.

We value the ministry of the Holy Spirit and yield to His instruction and guidance.

We value the Fruit of the Spirit as evidence of the presence of God’s Spirit.

We value the Gifts of the Spirit and will endeavor to accommodate their development and usage.

We value the Advancement of God’s Kingdom and will always seek ways to expand it.

We value the Christian Family and will seek ways to strengthen it.

We value Children and Youth who have come to believe, as an integral part of the Church of today, as well as tomorrow.

We value Christian Education and constantly strive to improve and advance it.

We value Fellowship and endeavor to foster it through ministry to others.

We value All People as created in the image of God and will reach out and minister to everyone, irrespective of socio-economic class, ethnicity, ability,
demeanor, or background.

We value Stewardship and constantly teach and encourage the giving of ourselves and our resources for the glory of God.

We value Mentoring as God’s method of reaching and teaching.

We value Mercy and, were we to err in a decision, choose to err on the side of mercy.

We value a spirit of Cooperation with other Christ-centered churches and ministries.

As a congregation, we must constantly hold one another accountable to the values we have set forth. Plans and programs, new and old, should be reviewed in light of what God is currently saying to the church and what we value. In order to be effective, programs and ministries must reflect the current burden and vision of the present congregation and leadership.

Join with us as we endeavor to be all that God desires.

May God bless you richly.

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