July 19, 2017

Mission and Values: The Flesh and Bones of Who We Are

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Two words that are used a lot in churches are mission and values. But sometimes those words aren’t used with clarity.

On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Dan Ackerman, Executive Leader of Zeeland Classis, illustrates the true meaning of mission and values through the flesh and bones of how we live. The mission is like the skeleton of our body, whereas the values becomes our flesh.

If we put our skeletons up against a wall and have someone who is untrained look at them, they can tell they are people. But nothing more than that.

Mission is like that within the church. Some churches use “Reach up, reach out and reach in” as their mission. Or other churches use “Loving Jesus, loving people.” This is transportable language used for every church when it comes to mission. It’s like our skeleton. It’s on the inside.

However, adding values to mission suddenly brings a different idea of who we are. Because values tell people about our texture. Values reveal our skin tone, eyes, hair, and personality. Mission is not values, and values are not mission. For example, if a church values ministry excellence, then we should expect to experience excellence inside their church. Or maybe another church values hospitality, in which case we would expect for the church to be engaging people through building relationships.  

To reiterate, mission is the skeletal reality and values provide the texture of who we are. Said differently, mission equates to why we exist, while values are who we truly are.

Watch the full video above – and be sure to like the Luminex Facebook page to discover more great church leadership resources.

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