First published on this website in June 2013 and last updated in June 2021
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These notes show how a church or organisation’s ‘purpose’, ‘vision’ and ‘values’ all link up, explain three different kinds of values and provide a range of practical examples. The kinds of values listed are:
The foundations on which to build. These may be about the Lordship of Christ, the value of people or an understanding about Scripture or tradition.
2: Community or church culture
These are principles on how you carry out your ‘purpose’ and will concern your attitudes and behaviour. They define distinctive priorities for your way of life.
3: Internal guidelines
Lower level behaviours, which will probably not be written down.
There are examples throughout, and a closing note on compliance.
Here is the link to this item: TN74 - Understanding values.pdf
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These notes were updated in July 2019 with minor amendments to the text.
Here is an excerpt from one comment received. "I find (this issue of values) so much more difficult in a (church) which might be characterised as "we know what we like and we like what we know", where church council meetings may come and go without God being mentioned at all, where social activity and fundraising dominate, and where survival is everything."
And from a response to this: "... for any local church the process of differentiating between purpose, vision and values, and then identifying and naming those values, from the non-negotiable to the cultural, would be a valuable exercise - perhaps even essential to continuing spiritual health. This will often be challenging! I guess many (most?) churches go for long periods taking a lot as read, and people may get uncomfortable when asked to examine what they do (and why) more closely."